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Like so many others, we were all shocked to hear of the passing of Wee Scarlett in an accident on Carrickfergus High Street on Wednesday past.

Her family and everyone touched by Scarlett’s life will be devastated. For them it will be like the very earth itself has shifted under their feet, and they will be struggling now to make any sense of a landscape that has become suddenly desolate.

When this kind of profound loss happens in scripture, the Bible does not offer platitudes or easy answers. Instead we are given to lament, such as these words from the prophet Jeremiah:

“I weep for the pastureland in the hill country. It’s so barren and scorched that no one travels there. No cattle can be found there, and birds and wild animals have all disappeared.”

And so we as a faith community weep alongside all the lives that have been scorched by this profound loss. For everyone who was there that day, for all they endured and will continue to feel, for all the trauma inhaled by the streets themselves and especially for Wee Scarlett’s family – we lament.

It can be hard to believe in the idea of God, especially at times like these. But most of us can, at least, believe in love. The bible does try and build a bridge for us even there, when 1 John 4 tells us that God actually IS love. So may we start with love, and perhaps find our way to God who is closer than we think.

And may God’s love be with you, always.

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