Each morning I bring in the newspaper and unfold it on the kitchen counter. Each morning my wife asks the same question, "Is there any good news? Tell me some good news." There's not much. More revelations about the government's mining of private data. Labor camps in China. The Taliban bomb Kabul. Egypt teetering again. The sad story of a mother separated from her daughter by the Mexican-American border fence. Turkish protests. More Syrian brutality.
We seem frozen by fear, mistrust, anger, violence, greed.
So I put down the paper and turn to a book of theology. I read these words from Catholic scholar Connie Fitzgerald:
"At a time when polarization, suspicion, denouncement, investigation, silencing, alienation, anger, cynicism and sadness divide our Church, and when our country is rocked by economic meltdown precipitated by years of wrongdoing and greed, our earth menaced with extinction, the religions of the world plagued with extremism and age-old distrust that fuel war and terrorism, the people of the world abused with violence, slavery and deprivation too great to measure. . . We are encumbered by old assumptions, burdened by memories that limit our horizons and, therefore, unfree to see God coming to us from the future."
I read this and find hope again.
Am I odd? Maybe.
But I'm Christian, and that means I find hope in the oddest places.
It was along the road to Emmaus, that two disciples frozen in fear, "unfree to see God coming" to them from the future, met the risen Christ. Or better, were met by Christ. And I think the latter sentence makes all the difference in the world.
Intention: Today, I'll let myself feel the sense of impasse, gridlock, even despair that plagues our world. And then I'll hold loosely the old assumptions and burdensome memories which are our chains. I may not be able to rid myself of them completely, but I can decide not to be enslaved by them. I'll open myself to see God coming to me from the future.