Back in May I wrote an entry entitled “Be Brave.” It was about getting back outside and into the world, understanding the possible dangers, but being responsible as we deal with the pandemic. I still think that’s necessary. I talked about how we used to be a nation of risk takers and we took pride in that.
But now we seem to be a nation that is proud of our victimhood. And it’s disturbing. Consider this Scripture verse:
“We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
Amen, Brother Paul! Amen. I maintain that a faith in God allows us to have more faith in ourselves. I believe that we need a return to God as a nation to save ourselves. I don’t want to be driven to despair, or to feel abandoned, or to be destroyed. I would love for more of us to believe that surpassing power is of God and not from us. But He gives us the power to overcome evil and to reject fear and hatred.
And we have to go ahead and step out in faith to do great things. Even little things can be great if we do them to better the life of someone else, or for the sake of a more loving, harmonious society. I beg of each one reading this to contemplate who we are and what we want out of life. Do we know that we will not live forever? Do we ever consider what comes after this?
If we don’t believe in an ‘ever after,’ can we at least try to make this present and only life something worth living? A life in which we are generous and kind and compassionate toward others? What is the point of destroying everything? What is the reason for the constant condemnation of those who don’t have your values or beliefs?
I ask all these questions out of frustration. But I am also quite confident that God will take care of things. I am quite sure that we just have to do our best with the best of intentions and all shall be well. Because our loving and merciful God is in control. And, as Richard John Neuhaus wrote, alluding to T.S. Eliot’s East Coker, when we do our best out of our love of God and our fellow human beings, “the rest is God’s business.” Neuhaus recommends that we just try. Try to be the best humans we can be, try to share the Good News that is Jesus Christ, try to tell the world its own story. And then, leave the rest to God. We are hopeful (full of hope), the late priest says, because we know who Jesus is, and what He did for humanity. Nothing’s gonna really get us down.
Let’s not celebrate victimhood. Let’s try to show the world that we are brave and have every reason to be. Because we know that the Lord reigns. Jesus is risen and we are forgiven. We can live like victors because Jesus is our Victor. He’s defeated death, He’s defeated sin. Let’s live like the King’s kids. Because that’s who we are. We cannot be defeated in ways that truly matter. We are safe in the Father’s arms. I hope you feel that way, too.