It has been awhile! I decided when I went on vacation in August that I would take a break from Castings for the month, and my what a month it’s been. The current events which have taken place in this break have been legion! Events that have directly affected the lives of people and their culture would have most probably been items I would have chosen to write about, had I been writing Castings in August. Let me think back with you for a moment to Charlottesville, Hurricane Harvey, North Korea missile tests and U.S. response, Mudslides in Sierra Leone, and massive flooding resulting in the death of over 1,200 people in Bangladesh, and this week (I know it’s September now) the Administration’s action towards ending DACA. There has been much to invite our prayers, our voices, and our actions.
As I have listened to and watched these stories evolve, as I have observed the many lives affected by them, as I have prayed and given and written emails to leaders, it occurs to me again just how life rolls on from one event to the next. This is true certainly in the “news cycle,” in the global realities of each day’s story. For given individuals who find themselves the focus of the stories, their day in the news may well be life changing, but for most of us the events of the world flow one into the next with little affect upon us. Oh, we may respond. We may celebrate or get upset. We may, as I indicated I have done, engage the event in some way either seeking to influence, help, or affect the outcome going forward. We may simply join the conversation by talking to friends or speaking out on the endless noise on social media. But ultimately, we move on. We move on to the next story, the next challenge or joy that is just now coming into view.
At age 61 (yes, I know many of you have me beaten!), I have seen my share of this day to day, year to year cycle. And that reality, while not minimizing at all the importance of each and every event, trouble or difficulty − because each one involves the lives of real people loved by God − gives me some sense of peace. The peace comes from the knowledge that God is in it all. God’s grace has been present in times of fear and worry, in times of pain and discouragement, and God’s grace IS with us now leading us forward.
Now that is not in any way an excuse for non-action. It is not a panacea, or an invitation to simply disengage. If ever there was a time for Christ followers to represent Christ’s way of love in the world, it is now. But we represent that love with a confidence that knows there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, and that as we live out that love in all the ways we are able to, God is our guide and our hope from news cycle to news cycle to news cycle.
Thanks be to God!