We just returned from Walmart. I tell you that ordering your groceries on line and picking them up in the parking lot is the best thing that I have found since sliced bread! For months I was doing the shopping for the Brooks. I was constantly worried about my exposure to Covid 19…and with good reason due to so many shoppers not wearing masks! Now, I pull up the car and pop the trunk and the nice young people load the provisions into my trunk…and wave at me! I wave back!

I was watching a documentary on HBO the other night regarding the author John Meacham’s book, The Soul of America. Mr. Meacham spoke of America’s struggle with isolationism and racism and he cited specific examples of our not living up to our creed of, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breath free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.’ Emma Lazarus But, John also spoke of redemption and the history of our country continually seeking to do better.

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Indeed, the last few years of our political life has drawn a sharp contrast not only in our political ideology…but also our faith communities and our families. If we are ever going to understand each other we first must listen to each other and place ourselves in the other persons’ shoes. How we believe and how we feel about government or faith or human rights…did not come upon us overnight!

Certainly we desire redemption for many parts of our lives that have not lived up to the ideal that we were striving for. The entire concept of christianity is the power of the forgiveness of sin and renewal in Christ… with a clean slate before us. As a woman who complained to me about housekeeping in Pulliam Hall not long after I became the superintendent of Building Services…’Mr. Brooks…you could be better!’ I heartily agreed with her and told her, after speaking to her for 1 hour, that I was going to hang up the telephone and get to work on becoming better… That really is the story of us…is it not? We are a people who want to become better! We want to see the forest as well as the trees…

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‘A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.’ Proverbs 15:1 KJV

Just imagine that you and one other person were shackled together and running for your lives. You had been imprisoned by an adversary that meant to ultimately kill you both. You both are emaciated and exhausted and frightened! Each of you had to rely on each other for your continued existence… One of you was a Republican…and the other was a Democrat…

John Meecham often refers to our living in a fallen world. This a common concept in christianity that explains our herculean struggle with ourselves… Each instance that we can shine a light in the darkness and despair of our fallen human condition…is Redemption…

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