Yeah, this post may have been relevant two weeks ago. But it’s not now. Oh well. I was never quick with the punches anyway. Always the last to turn in her test, run suicides, or respond in a debate. So, with lightening speed, here goes one delayed uptake on our nation’s transition of power.
If anything, Obama’s inauguration ushered in a hope of a better tomorrow for many Americans. He utilized this notion in his campaign and people rallied behind him in droves. We are clearly a people desperate for hope, for something better than now, for change. We want to know that America’s standing in the world will improve and that the price of food will go down; that our soldiers will be safe and that our children will be spared of the heartaches of our day. We want to know that our jobs are safe and that are streets are getting there. I want to know these things, I want to hope.
Yet hope and subsequent change do not hinge on a presidency, though it be the highest office in the land. They’re not hinged on programs or politics or droves of people who really, really want something. Change begins in our hearts, in our homes, and in the private decisions we make. Change beckons us out of that deep, scarred place within us; a place that can’t help but be selfish and cruel and wanting, always wanting. A measure of change may come at the hands of determination and guts and will. But the kind of change that makes people whole again - always comes at the hands of a Savior.
Twelve years ago now, I found change in an old abandoned parking lot in the city. Two hours before work every day, I met with God here. Me and Him and those words of His. Those life giving, beautiful, crazy, don’t make any sense words. Words like, “Let the dead bury their own dead,” and “A bruised reed He will not break” and this insane notion that, “All who touched Him were healed.” I didn’t understand the half of it, but I wanted to. With every question, more were provoked. And with every answer, more were provided.
So we kept meeting there, in this place. Come fall, winter, spring, summer. Every day, two hours. And all I wanted was more. More of God, less of me. (Something I still need by the way.) In a place of emptiness, I found myself whole. Whole to love again like He first taught me how. Whole to receive the Hope that first came into this world, anyway. Whole to give that Hope away. Desperation could leave its scars on my razor filled tires and on the innocents that walked in my classroom, but I knew there was Hope. And I was going to fight for it. Because He fought for me.
I think that’s where hope and change really hinge, anyhow. They hinge on a God who fights for us. In our loneliness and in our fears and in those doubts we’re swimming in. In our vices and in our grieving and in our weakness, He fights. He is for us and not against us. For us and not against us.
Now that is some crazy kind of Hope. And that Hope will always be relevant (which is why I decided to post this molding, after the fact blog anyhow:)