I woke up early to a grey sky and soft summer rain falling. I could hear water on the pavement sloshing as cars went by.
All was peaceful inside, and then I made the mistake of looking at the news. From harvesting babies to refugees trapped at sea,I saw a world of evil and horror. I began to cry.
I don’t want to live in a world that aborts live babies and cuts them up for profit, saying its only “3% of the total budget.” I don’t want to live in a world that turns people away from its borders, that they might die at sea. I don’t want to live in a world that sees Donald Trump as newsworthy and turns its back on the homeless. I don’t want to live in a world that stays silent in the face of evil.
I don’t want to be part of a nation that calls itself progressive as it drones other parts of the world.
And I don’t want to be that person that stays silent and apathetic.
I don’t want to participate in evil because of my fear of speaking up. I want to love with abandon, to give my life with joy, to turn the other cheek, to pray for my enemies, to speak up for those with no voice — the refugee, the disabled, the unborn.
I have no more patience for politicians and televangelists, for those who manipulate words and cover truth.
I suddenly feel too old to play the games of a politically correct society; a society that sees itself as so progressive that it’s regressive. Because you know something? We are not evolving–we are devolving.
I want to live my life in faith and honor of the One who made me, who gives me breath each day, who understands the human heart and sees beyond the surface to the hurting, the hungry, the lost.
This Sunday I feel old and tired, and I have to believe there are others out there who feel the same.
I read these words and I am encouraged:”In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”*
Light shines in the darkness.
It’s still raining outside, and the news is still beyond believability. But this truth I know: this truth I need to live by today: Light shines in the darkness.
Blogger’s Note: It was after I wrote this that I read an article that lightened the grey of the day with its hope. It’s of a Syrian family that makes it safely to the Greek Island of Kos after traveling on a small raft all night long. They are taken in and given security and safety. And the light shines in the darkness.
6 thoughts on “Light Shines in the Darkness ”
Marilyn, I empathize with the central themes of this post, grappling with evil and the depressing effect of seeing so much of it on the media. Warped priorities in the media–which simply reflect the warped priorities in our American culture (let’s not kill the messenger)–are a huge part of the problem. That’s why accurate reporting is so important. Remember, this upsetting video was filmed surreptitiously by people who lied about who they were then edited the tape to suit their agenda. Where is the moral high ground here?
On the issue of “cutting up live babies” this issue has been blown all out of proportion in the media and unconscionably/deliberately misrepresented by abortion opponents in the political and religious right. These were fetuses that were going to be aborted anyway and “harvesting” their organs is no different than me signing an organ donor card on my driver’s license. There was/is no “profit” involved. Planned Parenthood was simply trying to recover its costs for transporting the requested organs, which were being used for research to SAVE lives in the future. Regardless of one’s position on this very sacred issue of unborn life, the discussion, and enlightenment about it, would benefit considerably from accuracy. And more humility on both sides.
Sorry to get on my soapbox about this, but I have been extremely frustrated by the continuing misinformation about this and Congress’s knee-jerk, politically calculated, simplistic response to this story. Remember, 97% of Planned Parenthood’s work and budget go to proactive women’s health care that has nothing to do with abortions, a tiny portion of their work that gets no federal funding. Shutting down Planned Parenthood would be like closing down the entire national Presbyterian Church organization because one pastor was exposed for embezzling funds or having an affair.
Marilyn, I was moved by your honesty, by the passion of your frustration, and the moral dilemmas you grapple with (and imply) about how to respond to the news. I share those feelings, and each of us must find the balance of how much our spirits can endure–without burying our heads in the sand. I always remember what I was taught many years ago, when I was more politically active: When I don’t speak up, the only voices that I heard are the voices of those who care enough to do–which are usually the voices of the extremes, and usually a point of view I don’t support.
When I don’t vote, it’s effectively a vote for the other side.
We missed our morning worship this morning as we were traveling a distance to spend time with a dear friend whose husband is in hospice care. So we missed our pastor’s sermon. When we got home just a little while ago I read your blog. It was as good a sermon as I’ve ever heard and I’m sorry it won’t get a wider audience. God bless you as you challenge us to let “this light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”
I feel the same.
God, give us the grace today to love deeply, even though it hurts.
I too, as so many of us do Marilyn, watch and listen to the news. Your words echo my thoughts and you write them so well. The sadness I feel over watching all of this is felt by so many so we are not alone in feeling this way. A while back you mentioned feeling like you were out on a limb with some of the things you write about. Please stay out on your limb Marilyn even as the rain is falling and the branches are shaking. Your words are not falling on deaf ears. Please always keep writing and we will all keep praying and doing what we can do.
This morning on NPR I heard a story about Syrian refugees in Macedonia – a country sorely unprepared and unable to respond to the crisis. Apparently not being part of the EU or any other global organization of countries, Macedonia has not body to which it can appeal for assistance. My heart became so heavy I could hardly breathe. (Not good when you’re preparing to lead a congregation in worship.)
And then I thought of: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
I was reminded that I have the privilege of being the ‘Exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven’ (Presby parlance) in my little corner of the world and that the Kingdom of Heaven is now – even though I don’t see it or feel it. That’s something.