April 23rd: One with him
April 22, 2020
Church creates solidarity network to care for most vulnerable
April 23, 2020

Plain talk, heartburn & hope

COVID conversations abound in our own local spaces and around the world. Though separated, isolated, and quarantined to save our lives, the internet has quickly become a lifeline of sorts for maintaining connections and coherence, which we are discovering needs discreet mediation.

The requirement of social distance outside or inside does not protect against the friction likely caused by persistent proximity at home. We are discovering that physical and psychological boundaries need to be drawn, communicated and respected, even as we ‘meet’ each other, perhaps for the first time on our life journey together!

In these convo spaces, as we process our experiences, plain talk is passionately expressed, whilst fear or forward thinking may foster hope.

As individuals and communities, well informed with local updates and international developments, we’re striving to make sense of the cacophony of noises: technical language, political spin, patient treatments and economic analyses and projections.

Zero is the new metric for mankind’s ‘frontish’ behaviour, thinking that he/she can really control anything! The ephemeral idea of crypto-currency is gaining interest and along with viral spread and containment, conversations are trending along the sci-fi dream of the embedded chip becoming the new smart card for consumer purchases and data transfer.

Consider the similarities when the hapless disciples were walking along discussing their perplexed states of mind over “all that had happened” and their dashed hopes in the messiah being sacrificed and shamed, being brought low. Yet, He was walking beside them, as He does with us at every moment. But we do not recognise Him.

Too often we box or entomb our dreams and beliefs, taking extreme actions to place blocks to our freedom of positive thought. Too often we deny or misunderstand the promise of our rich and reliable heritage passed on to us by the elders.

When trouble besets us, as it will, because our journey demands testing to arrive at the projected destination successfully, we need to remember that step by step, we must call on the real, reliable power broker and influencer.

Rather than create icons of ourselves, trapped in the fickle ideas of self-sufficiency, let us humble ourselves and commit to gathering day by day the food for the journey.

Stockpiling can only take us so far. It is really a function of fear and uncertainty, denying that God is with us for every breath we take, and our story continues even after the breathing stops!

The truth is that we are called to be credible witnesses, going in the right direction, turning around, if necessary, acknowledging that mercy and love abides even in the darkest times.

So, if we begin humbly admitting that we are in fact poor assessors of our own performance or potential in God’s eyes and that our perspectives are often distorted by human and material matrices, we’ll cheerfully submit to the peace and provision offered to us by God, as we need it for the appropriate time.

In his book, On Hope, curated from his teaching some three years ago, Pope Francis says that even in the darkest times and our disorientation, more than optimism, “hope does not disappoint”.

God walks with us, instilling bold confidence in Him, so that plain talk, good heartburn, and the essence of Christian hope can help us to arrive safely at our destination. There we greet the community in renewed faith.