What a week it has been! We have witnessed great tragedy and also great hope. The tragedy is, of course, the devastation caused by the hundreds of tornadoes that came to ground in the southern part of our United States. Homes, schools and churches have been completely demolished leaving hundreds dead and thousands without shelter and a future of trying to rebuild almost from nothing.
Across the ocean our British cousins have seen a week of great joy and pageantry with the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Quite a contrast. In our local newspaper a person wrote to the Letters to the Editor section that the coverage of the wedding was a silly distraction. With all the problems in the world - wars and poor economy, etc. - he accused the media of focusing on "some prince from England getting married."
Yes the media gave a lot of attention to this wedding and characteristically of the media it went somewhat overboard. But the starkness of the two contrasting stories was so evident on the evening TV newscasts when the cameras would go from pictures of wreckage and heartbreak to the joy of the kiss of the royal couple. For some, watching the news is something they avoid because all it seems to focus on is "murder and mayhem." Yet we have witnessed this week that even in the midst of tragedy as we have seen, we can still enjoy the new hope that comes from watching a young couple - famous though they be - begin a new life with joy and happiness and a look to the future.
Isn't this what life is about? We have our share of disappointments and tragedies (seems we have had too many recently) but we also have moments of great joy - moments which uplift us and give us hope that there is still good in the world. This is what we in the Christian tradition have just celebrated again in recalling the resurrection of Jesus who came to conquer sin and give us new life and hope.
I say: God's blessings on the royal couple. May their days and years ahead be filled with joy and with a dedication to the people they serve. Our prayers also go out to all those devastated by the horrible weather during this past week. As we have done with other tragedies, I am sure the American people will rise to the occasion with donations to assist those in need.
We have seen human life played out in all its dimensions during this past week. May God give us the strength to continue to brave the dark elements in our lives and glory in the bright and beautiful ones.