This is adapted from a post a couple of years ago just after George Floyd was murdered, and now we are looking at Tyre Nichols. Another day that reminds me of the violence, injustice, and hate we are capable of as human beings. Another day that reminds me of the terrible "anniversaries" we mark to remember that violence.
I am deeply grateful for the beauty, the joy, the love, and the grace we find in the world, which we often stumble into unexpectedly, and which is never earned and is always a gift. But I cannot point to those as an excuse to forget the rest. I cannot say, as some urge, "Forget the bad things, just focus on the good." They both exist; they are in constant tension. The good sustains us in our work, and that work is to diminish the darkness and increase the light in whatever ways we can in whatever days we are given.
No one can do everything, but choose some part of the darkness where you have the talent, the strength, and the courage to confront it and push it back. To do nothing is to allow the darkness to stand. Or worse, to expand.
In 2020 I retired from regular church commitments. I got through COVID. Last year I caught up on COVID-canceled travel (I was in the Middle East for over 13 weeks last year and away from home more weeks than that). In December I turned 75, a good landmark for taking stock of what lies ahead. I am again assessing my own talents and strengths -- and yes, my courage -- to discern what I am called to do next to push back the darkness. I am not ready to quit, not when the headlines carry the news we are reading.