Inspired by love and anger, disturbed by need and pain,
informed of God’s own bias, we ask him once again,
“How long must some folk suffer? How long can few folk mind?
How long dare vain self-int’rest turn prayer and pity blind?”
—John L. Bell (listen to the hymn)
These are difficult days to find hope. Our news is filled with stories of war and aggression with millions of refugees fleeing their homelands. We’ve been shocked by mass shootings in which young children are murdered in their classrooms and grandmothers and fathers are gunned down in grocery store aisles. In conversation after conversation I’ve had over the past two weeks, common threads of anger and hopelessness are woven together along with a profound sense of helplessness. We’ve been here before. As the years go by, more of us have tragic stories to tell. I was living in Oregon in 1998 when a 15 year old boy murdered his parents and then went to his high school cafeteria in our community and shot 50 rounds of ammunition, wounding 24 and killing two students. This was one year before the shocking attack at Columbine High School in Colorado.
How do we respond to these days in faithfulness and with hope?
Let us not lose heart. The gift of life is precious, fragile, and holy. Let us tend to the sacred in our world with hope and courage.
A native of Illinois, Rev. Nancy Gowler lived for 26 years in the Pacific Northwest. She joined the ministry of First Christian Church in Morehead, KY, in July of 2020.