Keeping the faith

circle-of-hands

So now we know what we must do.

Sometimes it takes a stunning event to jolt us out of our complacency and realize that so many conflicting values are in play in our world, including our own backyard. And people can be easily swayed one way or another.

There are daily choices for each of us to make. Which will be our overriding values today? Power, or compassion? Hatred, or love? Greed, or gratitude? Selfishness, or service? Life, or fear?

We all vacillate between values. Our nation’s founders vacillated – they didn’t live up to their own beautiful words about how all people are created equal. They owned slaves and excluded women. Our nation has struggled to live up to those beautiful words since its founding, with spirit-filled people coming along in each age to challenge us to live them more deeply and inclusively.

A new day

It’s a never-ending process. And it’s never smooth or easy. Some values may carry the day, but that is only for one day. And now, that day is yesterday. Today is a new day, another chance to choose and champion those greater values.

We know what we must do.

We must be willing to put ourselves on the line and work with one another to make those greater values our greater good. We need to have courage and commitment and audacious hope.

We must be committed to making the world a place where everyone is seen and treated as an equally beloved child of God.

We need to be ready to bleed sacrificially to bring love and compassion and healing and peace to a world so wounded and fearful that it would build walls and let fear diminish us and divide us.

We know what we must do

We must stand against those who want our world to be a place where people are judged based upon the color of their skin or the lineage of their ancestry or the way that they love.

We must stand against those who see women as property or playthings that can be dominated and grabbed and violated.

We must stand against those who believe that religion is a tool of exclusion and condemnation.

We must stand against those who believe that bullying and violence are our only solutions.

We must stand against those who want fear of one another – instead of love for one another — to be our defining trait.

We know what we must do.

Give ourselves to the struggle

On the day before he was assassinated, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. told a gathering at a church in Memphis that “the world is all messed up, the nation is sick, trouble is in the land, confusion all around. … But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. And I see God working …

“We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. … Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make American what it ought to be.”

We know what we must do.

Although wounded and disappointed, we must not give up. We must give ourselves sacrificially to the struggle.

We must awake each morning renewed, ready to put our hands back on the moral arc of the universe and tug on it so that it bends a little bit more toward justice. And we must remember to feel for that set of hands on top of ours, the hands of Someone who is pulling along with us always.

Fight the fight. Run the race. Keep the faith.

That’s what we must do.

Author: joekay617

Feel free to add your thoughts and comments. Or you can reach me privately at joekay617@aol.com. Peace!

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