The Gift of Grief
A little over a year ago Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, was assassinated. Bhutto had recently returned to her country following several years of exile. She was a leading voice calling for democracy and change in Pakistan. Following a large campaign rally, as many people crowded around her vehicle, shots rang out and a suicide bomber detonated a bomb. Many of her supporters died along with her in the senseless violence. Photographs taken at the scene were on the covers of newspapers around the world. The picture on the front of the New York Times from that day has etched itself in my memory. A single man stands upright in the midst of the carnage. All around him are charred vehicles and bodies. Everything is burnt and ruined. He stands in the middle of this destruction with his head turned up to heaven, his arms raised in despair and hopelessness, and his face twisted in a cry of grief and incomprehension. Like Rachel from our text today, he refuses to be consoled. His hope is gone.