Our lives seem very frail these days.
The news tells me every day, of how everyone is holding on by a thread. People are shooting each other, crashing into buildings, and fighting over anything, everything and all things. Everyone is tired, angry and worn. It’s not the result of Covid, phones or the economy. It’s the waiting, the need for the Holy Spirit.
It’s a longing for something beautiful, new, and alive. We need friends, hope, and a vision of the better we seek to have. Our word needs humor and stories that reveal we are more than our feelings, our positions, our power, our economics, and our past.
When AI becomes the norm of norms, as ubiquitous as cell phones and computers and wifi, as unalien as all of that is now to us, as it was odd and unique only thirty years ago, we will need a way to reveal to ourselves why we matter. In a world where we measure ourselves by steps, by hours logged, by all that can be weighed and measured and ultimately found wanting, we must find a new infinite yardstick that reveals our true worth. That value is found in God’s love, in creation, in beauty, in service to others, in friendship. The things which reveal humanity, are not measured in dollars, but in love. God’s grace allows us to cut through all the distractions that prevent love –all the barriers, both self imposed and exterior, and show a starved planet the purpose for which it was made.
We are rather like the rabbits of Watership Down, needing the storyteller, not to tell us that there is no danger, but that danger can be overcome. The world needs the hope that comes from knowing that life is not all despair and work and suffering and death. Our world promises a life without suffering is possible. Our lives prove over and over again, that such thinking is folly.
Even those with no physical needs, suffer from alienation, loneliness, boredom, want that cannot be filled by wants, need that goes unsaited by things no matter how good the things are. We think we want security, until we discover safety is boring. We think we long for adveture, until we find adventure is dangerous. We long for wealth, and find it buys nothing that lasts.
We long for fame and find it does not mean love. We long for love, and discover it is hard to live a life of sacrifice –we keep looking for shortcuts, so that we can hold onto love without sacrifice. It’s not possible, because love is sacrifice.
That being said, the rabbits in the book, they clung to the hope of a warren where they could live and struggle with the ordinary of life, without excessive fear of overt unnecessary suffering. They did not find that promise land until they’d fought for it, suffered and struggled to win it. While in the process, they needed stories of faith, of strength, of courage and of hope.
We too need those stories, so we don’t forget that there is summer and victory and weddings and babies, strawberries and warm fires, good wines and good friends, joy and dancing, all waiting to be discovered if we stop allowing ourselves to be managed by something other than God.
All of which is to say, today, look for the stories that reveal how we are more, how we are both and, creatures who suffer, and who aspire to something more, who need God but for some reason fill our bellies and souls with everything else first. We only come to God when we realize all we’ve had up to now, has left us still hungry.
Be the stories that people share, that make God’s grace visible.
Good works, God’s work won’t make the news, but through those efforts, things will be made new. Lives and life, will be made fresh. Grace is invisible, it doesn’t draw attention. It reveals attention given. The better reality we crave, is always treated as expected, because we long for a world that is to a person, good.