Tag Archives: faith

Between Patience and Hope

“Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation.”

Romans 12:12

A sentiment that comes to mind as winter lingers, with the expectation of  spring waiting  beyond the horizon.    The same might apply to  politics and culture in the United States, dominated as it is by antagonism.  For now, patience in tribulation more closely fits our predicament.

Fleming Creek, Michigan in spring

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Dr. King’s Hope in 1963

Kensington Park

Dr. Martin Luther King infused the spiritual into American politics as no one else has–at least since Lincoln.  His “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on this date in  1963 was one of the great uplifting moments in American history.  “With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope,” King told the assembled crowd.

Before he became widely known, Dr. King addressed a church congregation in my home town of Detroit, and explained how faith inspired his political vision.

“There is something wrong with our world, something fundamentally and basically wrong,” he told a Detroit congregation in 1954. “The great problem facing modern man,” he said, “is that . . . the means by which we live have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live. . . . The problem is with man himself and man’s soul.”

Those words illuminate our current political culture with a light that is sadly lacking in today’s discourse.

Photo Challenge: Light Shines in the Darkness

The light from above, streaming down through a forest canopy, will always stop me in my tracks and capture my attention.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

–John 1:5

A few words  apropos for a troubled time in the United States.

Photo Challenge:  Shiny 

 

au sable river, michigan

Huron National Forest, Michigan

Hartwick Pines State Park

Hartwick Pines, Michigan

Tacquahmenon State Park, Michigan

Photo Challenge, Delta: Nature’s Coat of Many Colors

What we observe is not nature, but nature exposed to our method of questioning
-Werner Heisenberg

The seasons pass in an annual parade in Michigan, and the changes may cover the spectrum.  The same locale can wear a coat of many colors over the course of the year.

 

Photo Challenge:  Delta  

 

Newburgh Lake, Michigan

lake like a mirror

Where There Is No Vision, the People Perish

Be sure you put your feet in the right place; then stand firm.   —Abraham Lincoln

In the gray half-light before the dawn, a leader offers a vision of moral clarity, while avoiding the trap of self-righteous moralizing.   As the Proverb teaches, where there is no vision, the people perish.  Yet, a leader often has to rein in his more zealous followers in service of the broader cause. Otherwise, the zealots by their intolerance will repel many of the undecided who could still be persuaded.

Abraham Lincoln mastered the  political craft during decades of seasoning in the rough-and-tumble of local politics before he took his trade to  the White House.  Although influenced by the racial prejudice common to white people of his day, his conviction never wavered that, “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”  Lincoln’s clarity on the immorality of slavery was a beacon for his countrymen, and his sincerity  was his bond with the common people.   Having found his own solid ground, he stood firm in curbing the excesses of the  Abolitionists, whose rigidity would have sabotaged the Union’s cause before battle with the Confederates had been fairly joined.

If the trumpet is uncertain, asked St. Paul, who will answer the call to battle?  Times of great change, whether in Lincoln’s day, our Revolution, the New Deal, or the New Frontier, call for leadership that provides moral clarity, and keeps the movement  to the straight and narrow path, rather than straying into  self-righteous posing. To America’s  sorrow, no such leader has come forward for almost 50 years.  This lack results in an  impasse:   “The old is dying, yet the new cannot be born.”