It has always been true. One solo candle can light up the darkest night. A candle in a window welcomes us home. A sliver of moon can guide our way.
These are terrifying times we live in. Lying alone has devoured much of our belief in goodness and one another. The greed has gone viral, and has become a malignancy of the soul. The lack of compassion and care and concern is tragic, even traumatic.
I find in our young people, a genuine uncertainty about the future. They are cynical about most adults as so many grown-ups seem unwilling to behave maturely. Our youth wonder if they can make any difference at all, and quietly suspect we are like lemmings on the way to the sea -- maybe already off the cliff.
It is just not easy to create real hope. It is hard to be positive and productive. It is brutally tough to find our way back to building the Kingdom of God, and not erecting some crazy gated Camelot.
I would suggest three basic attitudes and perspectives that might help us create a more hopeful attitude and perspective.
First, do not make your values or ethics either/or. Make them both/and. Our black and white living in America has ground us to a spiritual and maturational halt, and left our nation hopelessly divided. Respect the greys, and choose the compromise or build consensus.
Second, we must dig in and get rid of the racism. Those who are white must recognize that historically we have long been the primary culprits. We whites are not superior. We never have been. We have stooped so low as to take human beings as slaves, and to stuff others in ovens for their beliefs, and now we will build walls to keep them out – no matter how real the need.
Third, and finally, we must face the facts of a future which will indeed test our depth and our mettle. Global warming is real. Resources are dwindling. The flight of refugees will only get larger and steadier. The promise of technology is clearly questionable, unless we apply morality, regulation, and adult wisdom to it. Our future demands courage and conviction and ample creativity – as well as a steadfast hope.
O, Lord of Lent, let our attitudes be generous and gracious, and may our lifestyles reflect genuine concern and compassion, so that we might create a saner and more livable tomorrow. Amen.
Reverend William R. Grimbol has spent the past 30+ years helping people create and develop strong spiritual connections with loved ones and God. He is also a published author, with over a dozen books to his credit.