These long cold Midwest winter nights can get to me. I find myself inside more often, doing the same old things day after day and seemingly going nowhere. One good thing though is I have more time to read. I read today’s scripture selection from Isaiah. He tells of a day when the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the lowly will find joy and the poor will rejoice. Yeah! Right. For sure, he didn’t have the nightly news to watch in his day.
I long for the day when all will be right! I’m tired of mine as well as others limitations, and just wish we’d all get our acts together, taking care of one another, and living lives worthy of what I believe to be our calling—to be one with the God of love, kind of like Isaiah predicts will happen.
My first reaction when I read the passage in Isaiah today is to identify the tyrants and those who do evil amongst us, and of course I think I’m better than that. On second thought though, I realize I more often than I wish to admit, lord it over anyone who doesn’t think or act like me. I do wrong. I don’t like to call it evil—I call it making a mistake. I more often than I wish “…leave the just man with an empty claim.” figuring that’s someone else’s job.
Isaiah gives me hope though: “…Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of…Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction.” Someday, I won’t be ashamed, I will acquire understanding and I will receive instruction. Wow! There’s hope, but where? Maybe, just maybe Frank Sinatra had it right when he wrote in his song High Hopes: “Oops there goes another problem kerplop!”
Once there was a silly old ram
Thought he’d punch a hole in a dam
No one could make that ram, scram
He kept buttin’ that dam.
Maybe if I just keep buttin along, doing what little I can, giving the beggar on the street a buck when they ask, singing a song when I want to cry and washing the dishes when they are dirty. God help me see how I have to change today to help bring about your kingdom.
Dan O’Donnell is a Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.