Sometimes our vision into the future seems very murky, like trying to see the bottom of a muddy pond. Are there fish in that pond? Is there hope in our tomorrows for better days?
Looking out into our world may seem to only be stirring the mud. The pond, our future, seems even less clear than before as we hear and read stories about a possible resurge of the virus our world has been fighting, as we see more unrest in our cities and in other countries, as businesses close and those who are open are low or even without some of the supplies we are looking for. And the children – what if schools only open to quickly close again? What does their future hold for them?
In the past we have coped with distraction – sports, movies or the theater, an evening out at a great restaurant – but these distractions are no longer open for us, or if they are, our options may be sitting 6 feet apart or take-out only. Instead of easing our anxieties, they creates more.
Meister Eckhart said: “Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light.” What shines greatest in a world filled with problems? A problem-solver, but not just any problem-solver, for there are many ideas, often conflicting, for how to end the chaos and suffering. We don’t need someone to stir the muddy waters; we need someone to give us a different vision, clear waters. Mother Teresa once said: “There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.” Who is this light? Where is this healing spirit?
In Ezekiel 36:26, God promises to give us a new spirit and a new heart. G. K. Chesterton once said, “To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” Forgiveness and hope have such healing powers – for us – for everyone. Quarrels, riots, wars – they would all disappear with forgiveness and love. Faith for what seems impossible – not just a return to the old normal, but for a better world. What a wonderful future to hope for!
How do we do this? The Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Where do we start? Neil Gaiman said, “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” And Mother Teresa adds, “Small things done with great love will change the world.” So let’s start with that Spirit and new heart God has given us. We look to what He has given us – our voice, our story, our vision – and then we do just one thing, a small thing with love – and who knows? Perhaps God, working in us, will use all of us to change the world.