My car battery died today.
The thing is, I knew it was coming. The car isn’t old, just a 2016, but it was taking two tries to get it started. We’d looked up the make and model online and found that battery issues were common.
Still, I kept driving. I hoped the spot it died in would not be too inconvenient. Leaving a surgeon’s office on a visit, it finally refused to start.
Val picked me up and, a few hours later, AAA sent out a service guy and he replaced the battery. The procedure was simple enough. It could only happen after death, though. And it could only happen with a cost.
I grew up with a system of belief. It took a few decades of life to knock that down and rebuild it into something more genuine, a faith more connected to the reality of struggle and suffering.
These past few weeks we’ve seen the country torn apart. All sides of the issue are still fighting. We’ve dug in, more divided than before. Our labels carry so much weight. Our political leanings drive nails of darkness into our identity.
One cannot be seen as simply one thing. Conservatives become fascists. Liberals become socialists. Support the police, support movements for social change. Support the misrepresented and underrepresented.
Do these things and you will be hated.
So, why believe?
Why pick a side?
Why stand up for anything when it will cost you friendships, relationships, maybe even employment?
If there is anything to believe in, it is this:
Believe in change.
Believe in grace.
Believe in large holiday dinners again, the smell of cooking ham and potato filling, deserts and coffee.
Believe in the human spirit.
Look in the eyes of our children and believe that love can be taught, tolerance can be learned, courage can be embraced and the foundation laid deep in their hearts because, one day, they’ll run the world.
Believe in freedom. Believe that struggles will pass, that poverty and sickness can be overcome. Believe that your story is not over.
Believe that the sun will rise on endless dark nights. Believe that raging fires can be walked through, that heat is only temporary.
Believe that generations of hate can be overcome. Believe that systems can change, that nothing is forever and new ideas can heal old wounds.
Someone may not have told you this is a long time, but:
You can dream.
It may not feel right, but you can dream. You can look forward to a different future.
You can hope.
You can live with a renewed strength.
2020 so far, has been a year of dealing with our illnesses. From the physical side to societal pains. Exposure of deep wounds, of those struggling and left in the wake of rampant self-centered drive. As much as companies are racing for treatments and vaccines, as much as a slow roll of political change is sounding, we must be willing to continue the work. Not just on ourselves and our families, but our jobs and our community.
All of creation demands a response.
The stones are crying out.
What if everything so far has led to 2020?
And now the time is yours.