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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Beyond normal

The light of Bethlehem gives us more than we lost

Will I ever feel normal again? Will any of us? Those questions float in the darkness around our Advent candles this year. Plenty more hangs in suspended animation around those tender flames. A dense cloud of anxiety and sadness unsettles and disorients us.

We want something we can't quite name to get us back on our game and restore our balance. We want to feel comfortable again — and secure. We want what we had on Sept. 10. But try as we might, we can't part the dark clouds surrounding us and find our way home.

As a nation we try to reassert normalcy by force. We stockpile millions of Cipro tablets and barricade our tallest buildings. We assign sky marshals to planes and drop heavy ordnance on those who will our destruction. With military and technological might, we strive to restore our world to an order, an equilibrium that we create and control for our own safety.

But deep down we know it's not enough.


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