Monday, December 31, 2001

Not to demean what happened on Sept. 11, but I sloppily calculated that over 30 times as many Americans have died from heart disease since the planes hit as those who died in the attacks (I read somewhere that heart disease kills over 15,000 Americans every two weeks). Over 25,000 times as many Americans died from heart disease as from anthrax in the same span. Deaths from heart disease, too, are awful, life-changing, shattering, and many hit victims as innocent, spouses as young, families as undeserving. Again, not to understate the horror of the terrorist attacks, but death is all over, in many forms and sizes, and though newspapers sell copies by framing certain deaths in a dramatic narrative of good-versus-evil or by scaring us about supposed epidemics, we must not simplify the awfulness or the goodness we can know in this world. 2002 will bring an unfathomable amount of death and suffering and birth and joy. To which I can only say: Come quickly, Lord Jesus, that your kingdom may be complete.

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