As you have no doubt noticed, I have taken the last two weeks off from writing in this spot. Sabbaths of many sorts are important, and I took a little sabbatical from writing. Of course, one doesn’t stop thinking about the various issues that are bombarding us daily, and the past few weeks have been a bit exhausting if you are paying any attention to the news. The pain and grief of innocent lives struck down in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, Dallas, and Nice among other places is deeply depressing and raises the sense of powerlessness in the face of violence that careens from one encounter to the next. A well-known theologian of the past century, Joseph Sittler, coined the apt phrase for the malaise of this context. Compassion Fatigue was the term he used to describe the exhaustion from knowing so much of the pain and suffering and violence that exists within our world.
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