Today’s Prompt: Write about something hopeful or hopeless.
I can’t remember who said recently “this advent seems particularly dark,” but I agree. So many things on the news. Lots of emotion on social media. Worries. Fears. Our family has been burdened this week by the suffering of friends in Colombia. I’ve been grateful for some time in nature and time with family.
As a pastor I’m regularly asked some variation of “Why does God allow bad things to happen?” I never have a satisfactory answer.
It’s at times like these that I think of St. Augustine’s lovely quote:
Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.
It’s a reminder that when we see things in our world that lead to despair, we are to work to change them, to make a difference, to stand up. I struggle sometimes with how to work for peace and justice in the world in ways that seem authentic and compassionate. I want to be clear about what I believe and bold about advocating for the changes that I think will make a difference in the world, especially when it comes to making the world a better place for future generations. I’m aware that not everyone sees things in the same way I do, however.
I love John Mayer’s song Belief on this topic. The lyrics in their entirety are worth listening to, but the first stanza is this:
Is there anyone who ever remembers changing their mind from paint on a sign? Is there anyone who really recalls ever breaking rank at all for something someone yelled real loud one time? Everyone believes in how they think it ought to be.
It’s such a reminder that the changes we seek in the world don’t usually happen because we yell loudly or tweet a lot or hold up billboards (though there is a time for yelling and tweeting and billboards, of course… to every thing there is a season.)
Advent hope… I’m not sure what it means for me this year, so I light a candle, drink some tea and wait.
This post is a part of the 25 days of advent writing and photos that I’m doing with my church Northwood Presbyterian Church, San Antonio. For the writing portion, I’ve just set a timer for 20-30 minutes and whatever I have at the end of the time, I post. No editing past the time limit… no worries if there are errors or if I stare at the screen for the first 15 minutes. Giving it a try.