Four years ago I stopped watching the news. For most of my adult life, I had been in the habit of watching at least the first twelve minutes of the 10 o’clock news before getting ready for bed. Until I realized that images from the news creeped into my dreams, resulting in fitful sleep and occasional nightmares. The volatility of the world, the anger and division in our country, and local crime combined to inflict tiny paper cuts in my heart, each more shivery-painful than the next.
I began reading the news instead, looking to various sources in order to get a fuller picture than any one outlet would present. A simple change, and it helped in many ways: better sleep, better informed, less heartache.
Four years ago the world seemed in a bad way. Four years later, it’s inconceivable. What simple change can I make now that will prove as helpful?
I’m clinging to TRUST, my one-word lifeline as this year keeps dishing up bad news like overcooked casseroles at a church potluck: think green bean casserole, iguana green, limp and milky. In so many ways 2020 has been gross like that.
So, trust. I trust that there will always be moments of beauty, no matter what, like flowers blooming in sidewalk cracks. I trust that if we look for beauty, we will find it. Mr. Rogers taught us to look for the helpers. From now on, let’s trust that we will find ways to be the helpers.
I trust that God is still in control on bad days as well as good. I trust that God loves me, and you, and the whole wide world He made and redeemed and is redeeming – the latter being work in which we get to participate.
In just 45 days, we have the opportunity to make a difference. I want to trust that Americans are going to show up to do the right thing, to elect leaders who exhibit compassion and common decency, and who above all will consider the needs of all of their constituents and not just those who possess wealth and power.
As RGB modeled for us, we get to fight well – not scrappy-mean, but with dignity intact on every side – for things that matter. Hildegard tells us that we will “rise vigorously” toward justice for the things we love.
Watching the news hurts my heart because I love my community and my country. I love this fantastically diverse planet and its diverse inhabitants. I believe we can be better and do better. We need to take a collective deep breath, hold our tongues, open our ears, and for God’s sake, take our fingers off the trigger. We can choose to breathe out animosity and breathe in love…and more and more love. I trust we can if we try.