During Lent, I am trying to not walk down the path of panic, negativity and despair. I know the path is there. I know what is going on in the world. But I see nothing to be gained by letting fear corrode my soul, by widening and making firm that dark road. Bad things will happen, or they won’t. Who by worrying can change what may or may not come?
Of course, there still needs to be planning. I think we’re all saving our extra nickels these days and carefully looking at our balance sheets. Do you lie in bed at night and think about how long you would be ok if you lost your job? I do. I make plans in my head for what I would do if it were a little bad, a lot bad, horrible. I stop at the “martial law and pillage” level because I don’t think there is a good plan against that one.
During the hard times, though, those who have enough and a little bit extra need to be sure that we throw our weight against the doors of last resort, to keep them closed against hunger, nakedness and bitter cold.
This morning I read an article talking about food banks. Actually, donations to food banks are up. But costs and needs are up higher. How horrible it would be to swallow pride (your only meal for the day) and go to a food bank, only to discover that there is nothing for you.
There is a great sense of powerlessness and anxiety, rippling through our culture and our days. It is hard not to feel insignificant in the face of problems in the Trillions of dollars and the canker of uncertainty. We can’t fix the banking system. We don’t know how the world will look when this all shakes out. We don’t know if ours was an aberration of time, and things will never be that way again. Against that, however, we need to hold on to what we have and what we can do. We have love, friendship and fellowship. Spring is not aware that life is dismal, and will shortly be glorious as though it’s 2005 all over again. And while we can’t fix the banking system, many of us can give a donation of money, food or time to help our brethren eat.
Hold on to what is good. Encourage the faint-hearted. Help the weak. Be patient with them all. Rejoice without ceasing.