I seem to have little energy for creative thought these days. Hopefully that energy will return on Nov. 3 when we have elected Joe Biden, an honest, decent, compassionate man who does have the skill to function as president, to the role of president.
But I can still read! And often the creative writing of others can provide jumping off points for a few words of my own. So here are a few more “random thoughts.”
Frederick Buechner is one of my very favorite writers. Usually I read Biblical material that he makes come alive, complete with sarcasm and witticisms – and beautiful wisdom. The following quote is from Brendan, one of his novels, but it still brings us beautiful wisdom:
Pushing down hard with his fists on the table-top [Gildas] heaved himself up to where he was standing. For the first time we saw he [was missing] one leg. It was gone from the knee joint down. He was hopping sideways to reach for his stick in the corner when he lost his balance. He would have fallen in a heap if Brendan hadn’t leapt forward and caught him. ‘I’m as crippled as the dark world,’ Gildas said. ‘If it comes to that, which one of us isn’t, my dear?’ Brendan said, “We was cripples all of us.” For a moment or two there was no sound but the bees. ‘To lend each other a hand when we’re falling,’ Brendan said. ‘Perhaps that’s the only work that matters in the end.’”
“To lend each other a hand when we’re falling. Perhaps that’s the only work that matters in the end. This is the lesson for our time. All of my anxiety and anger about the lies and corruption of the current administration can be countered by my lending a hand to another who is falling – especially when that person is my husband.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Matthew Scogin, President of Hope College in Holland, Michigan has written: “Most of the time when we use the word hope, we’re basically using it as a weak desire, a wish, like, ‘I hope the weather is good tomorrow. . . .’ But that’s not the way that the Bible uses the word. The way the Bible uses the word is based on a confident expectation that something good is going to happen. We know that the future is going to be better than the present; the Bible promises it.”
Hope College, my alma mater, has done a remarkable job preparing for the students to return this fall safely. Students, teachers, administrators, and staff were all sent a saliva test for COVID -19 and they couldn’t return to campus if they didn’t send it back. A plan for testing 1% of the students everyday is in place. Students who test positive will be quarantined on campus – not sent home bring the virus to yet another community. A team of science professors who have been testing the waters in the Holland community for years, will now look for signs of the virus in the water. This will give advance warning that the disease is on campus.
It seems to me that all these measures (and more) are the result of the Biblical understanding expressed by the college president that “the future is going to be better than the present.” We all need a clear and honest view understanding of what is going on in our world. We need to acknowledge:
- the scientific data surrounding both of climate change and the pandemic
- the economic stressors that affect how we all live
- the harm that black and brown people have experienced and the diminishment they have felt for centuries,
- the ineffectiveness and corruption of our political system, led by our president
But we won’t be in any shape in the long run to help fix these problems if we don’t believe in the deepest places of our hearts and souls that the future is going to be better than the present and that the Owner of the future will help us make the present better.