We Will Get Through This

There is a chill in the air, which is certainly not unusual for this time of year.  But there is something else, something I have not sensed on such a scale in many years: fear.  There is, of course, suffering as well, the suffering of those whose fears have already come to pass.  But above all else, there is foreboding.

Most of you already knew this. Unfortunately, I am not as blessed with a makeup that allows me to see facts and come to an immediate conclusion.  I am one of those who rely heavily on intuition and reading the emotions of others.  I have to feel something before I know it.

I recently was away on business, and it was there that I fully felt the magnitude of the situation in which we now find ourselves.  I learned that what’s been going on at my place of business has been going on at almost every place of business throughout the country, maybe the world.  Mostly I sensed the worry beneath the surface of every conversation; no one was spared – it was universal in every region and every field.  Even our instructor was caught up in the events of these troubling times. 

Seeing their eyes, I finally understood.

However, I can tell you that this dependence on intuition that plagues me also gives me a certain insight.  Take it for what it’s worth, but that insight tells me something for sure:

We will get through this.

Make no mistake.  The worst is yet to come.  We are entering a dark time, and before it is over, we will grow so weary of bad news that we just won’t pay attention anymore.

But we will get through this.

Americans, for all the world to see, appear fat, and selfish, uneducated, materialistic, prone to bigotry, and rudderless.  We have invested so much in this appearance, we have begun to believe it ourselves.

But I think something incredible is about to happen:  we are going to rediscover who we are.

There is a spark within us, now barely an ember.  We will hold onto this spark like a precious jewel, and it will cause us to, above all else, just hold on.

We will summon a strength we didn’t know we had, and we will somehow, miraculously, hold on.

We will find a mercy, the kind of which we had forgotten that we were capable , and we will help one another.  In another time many of us might have been rivals, or even thought of ourselves an enemies, yet we will pull together and ensure that no person starves, no child is without clothes, no sick person is left out in the cold.

In headier days, we might have had arguments over the best way to do these things – and we will once again – but during this time in the desert we will take care of First Things.

We will, in defiance of a world convinced we are fat, selfish and lazy, somehow,impossibly, hold on.

We will get through this.

And then something else will happen.  I have no idea what shape that Something will take. I don’t think our imaginations can yet see what it might be.  But, with God’s help, it will lead us out of the darkness.

Do not look to the Halls of Power for this Something: fate does not work that way, nor history.  From what I can tell, God does not work that way.  Want to shake the foundations of history?  Do not look to the gilded palaces of kings or rulers, but to a humble home’s first floor where animals are kept, in a dirty place where the goats are fed.  God seems to take delight in bringing salvation from such surprising places.

Whatever this Something is, we probably won’t even recognize it until our children write the history of the time.  Our dreamers will somehow envision it, our more grounded will take the Dream and design it, our workers will supply sweat and muscle and build it.  No, I cannot see what shape this Something will take, whether it be a movement, or a new economy, or some new technology, or even a new way of thinking.  But it will be glorious.

We will still have our malcontents and cynics who will constantly harp about how the Something cannot possibly work, and once it does, how there’s no way it can continue.  They will not be heard.  We will be so weary from being in the darkness for so long, once the spark within us becomes a flame, there will be no stopping us.  We will shock the world with our sense of purpose and drive and optimism.  The world will get caught up in our wake and follow.

Our faith, so often ridiculed, will save even those who do not share it.

This Something does not necessarily have to emerge from America, but I sense that it will.  For all of its faults, America is by far the country that most tolerates dreamers.  America has exported many things throughout its history, but its number one import has always been optimists.

From this fertile ground will arise those (maybe they have not yet been born) who will take the spark within us that we jealously guard, and fan it to a flame.  When others have succumbed to the thought that just holding on is all we can do, these visionaries will let us know that there is a change in the wind.  Then, we’ll take heart, and get to work.

I know that things are bad, very bad.  I also know that they are going to get worse.  I ache, knowing that so many will feel so much pain that they will grow weary of it.

But I also see that the day is coming that the weary world will rejoice.  When we want to despair, we must hold on and wait for a change in the wind.  When it is darkest, we must look for the dawn.

And what do you know?  Yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Merry Christmas, America.

Quick Work Update

Because I know many of you are concerned, I’ll give a quick update.  I still am employed, for which I am thankful, yet I feel no joy.  It has been an absolute bloodbath today.  So many people – it’s almost incomprehensible to me.

Worst of all to me, I lost my “office wife”.  We have worked side by side for 7 years.  I hurt so badly for her (and, to be honest, myself), I can barely speak of it.

We have also lost many incredibly talented people, many of whom I call friends.

Please pray for all of them.

D-Day

Everyone in my department has been given notice that they need to physically be in the office tomorrow.

They have to tell people these things in person, you see.

The only good thing about it, I guess, is that the walking on eggshells can now end.  Why worry?  The decisions have been made.  There’s nothing I can do about it.  If I am unemployed tomorrow, so be it.  I just worry about some dear friends,and co-workers with young children and mortgages.  I can always take the kids out of private school, sell a car, drop the cell phones. For some of my co-workers, baby formula is not optional, however.

I have no doubt you’ll be hearing something about it on the local news in the next couple of days.

Tonight is going to be a whole-pill Ambien night.  Stay tuned.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – Matthew 6:25-27

Come Join The Celebration!

New Beginnings Christmas

New Beginnings Christmas

I’d like to invite all of you to what has become an annual tradition: the X-Alt Christmas Coffeehouse at New Beginnings Church in Bellevue.  There will be lots of music to get you and your family in the Christmas spirit, along with the usual coffees and baked goodies, all upcoming this Saturday night.

This will be the only time this year we will drag our Christmas set out of mothballs (and we have some unique arrangements), so this is your only chance to hear it.

But, for those of you who need a little extra urging, Jim Weber, singer-songwriter extrodinaire, will be there.  Every time we’ve had Jim at a coffeehouse, he’s brought the house down.

There are others who will join in the celebration, but the one you just absolutely HAVE to see is a musician named David Parr.  We know him from way back (I haven’t seen David in years).  He plays the most unique instrument I’ve ever seen, the Chapman Stick .  The best description I know for it is it’s a stringed instrument, but it’s played like a piano.  All I know is that when in Parr’s very talented hands, it’s one of the most beautiful instruments I’ve ever heard.

Finally, on a personal note, this would be a good chance to see Fat Slarti, before I go on another weight loss quest.    Also, you can see Skinny Susie (ask her about her unorthodox weight loss plan – I’m a believer now!), and greet the recently ordained Pastor (Reverend? Brother?  Most Excellent?) Mark Mills.

The fun starts Saturday night at 6:00 pm, at New Beginnings Church (7700 George E Horn Road, 37221).  We’d love to see you there.

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