‘ A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies and her husband has full confidence in her.’ A cry from the Proverbs of the Hebrew Old Testament for all times. And for today .
The death of Jo Cox is an immense tragedy for her husband and family. She was the mother of two small children and the gaping hole left in that family is all the more tragic when we dare to think of their future without her. We want them to be able to grieve with privacy, but so many of us want to hug them and just say, ” We are with you.” That is why the streets in in Batley were full yesterday. Humanity seeks to gather in tragedy. Seeks to comfort our neighbour;strangers and friends.
So the question is not if we knew Jo Cox or had met her, but rather how can we huddle together and try to patch up the hole she has left? How do we huddle to make sense of her death … and of her killer? How do we deal with a member of our humanity who brutally lashes out and kills a wife of noble character more precious than rubies?
But wait, we are not remembering just now the doing, we are remembering who Jo Cox was. (We can’t even bear to hear the word ‘was’instead of ‘is.’)This is about being. A human being. .and our being human. We don’t do noble character, we don’t do being. We are. And this public grief is about ‘who are we ?’ We urgently need to model a noble character as individuals and for society.
The description of a wife of noble character is from the thirty first chapter of proverbs in the Old Testament wisdom books. Just before this description is the exhortation to ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights for all those who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly ,defend the rights of the poor and needy ‘
Is this the response we have to Jo Cox’s death? As we grapple with immigration, integration, terrorism and fear? Speak up . Speak up for those who cannot help themselves. If we do this we follow not only the character of Jo Cox, but we can echo the teachings of Jesus to be an advocate for the poor and needy. With him as our bedrock and source of our strength . Jo Cox as a great pioneering example, we can seek to build a country of noble character; a better world of noble character.