Today we learned that a glacier as big as Los Angles has broken from the Northern ice cap. For the last month, much of our area of the United States has suffered drought and record heat. Massive wildfires over the last year have destroyed homes, businesses, and lives in parts of the West. Massive storms and record heat let us know something is not normal.
Add to the environmental emergency the slaughter of innocent people in entertainment centers, department stores, schools, houses of worship, and in neighborhoods. Add lives destroyed by opioids and other drugs, homelessness, and overcrowded prisons.
Aware of all this daily news, are you left feeling like the Prophet Habakkuk?
“How long, O Lord? I cry for help, but you do not listen! I cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not intervene. Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife and clamorous discord.”
Feeling angry, sad, afraid about the conditions in our world sets the foundation for prayer. Taking these reactions to God, laying them at his feet is an act of faith…the faith that Paul tells Timothy is our norm.
Faith, as nurtured in regular, silent prayer, stills our souls. It is not a stillness that keeps us passive and uninvolved. Rather it is a stillness that recognizes, accepts, that we are to do “what we were obliged to do.” The Spirit guides each of us to heal our broken world in the uniqueness and limits of our own lives. The task is different for everyone. And the task is beyond human efforts. We must rely on God’s love and grace to carry us.
God, working through us, over time, transforms all things into goodness, love and life. This is the faith like the mustard seed. In God we are stronger and capable of much more than we can every imagine.
Jim Wayne is a board member of the Passionist Solidarity Network (PSN), and author of The Unfinished Man. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky.