by Ken Rolheiser
Hope before it’s too late

The rain-soaked landscape dissolved in a grey mist. My eyes were witnessing ecological destruction. I was witnessing the kill shot in this muddy mire. Death and dying were all around me. Everyone and everything was dying or dead. And it was not because of the rain.

I awoke from my dream and took stock. I had been praying the Joyful Mysteries, the last mystery “The finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple”, and it struck me that this is where we find the Lord. It is not too late. Hope starts with ONE. 

When we visited New York city in 2014, we stayed in an apartment in the Bronx. I noticed how the singular shopkeeper swept the sidewalk in front of her business. The city was clean and well-ordered. In the city of eight and a half million people cleanliness and order started with one.

Christianity is not a quiet faith, but one full of words. Writing is not the privilege of a gifted few. Every believer is invited to express the words that reflect the glory of God. “He is risen!” We say it in our words and in what we do in our families and in our workplaces.

“God has spoken, so we speak. God has written, so we write — not to eclipse God’s words but to illumine them” ( thoughts here from “God Made You a Writer - An Invitation to Every Christian” by David Mathis).

Sacred scripture makes you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction. (2 Timothy 3:15–17). Commissioned by God, in the sight of God, we speak in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:17).

Christian writing is an act of love, a kind of dying to self, so that other people are helped for Jesus’ sake. (Thoughts here borrowed from David Mathis.)

Our challenge is always, “Don’t make God look stupid.” Our message must reflect the heart of Jesus and his message in our hearts. When we aren’t truly affected (touched), we disaffect others with boring writing about the most wonderful truths in the universe. We lie about God. But when we write as Christians, we work to make it interesting and provocative to others.

When we need inspiration, we remember that God has spoken first. We are “subcreatives”, to borrow a word from Tolkien. We labor to find fresh approaches to ancient truths – new ways to tell the old, old stories.

The vision of destruction in our opening lines visited me in a nightmare recently. With God’s grace I realized that there is hope and redemption for our environment and our universe. We pray with words daily – Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.”

The Kingdom is coming. Nature and we will be delivered and redeemed from our present plight. Hope starts with everyone doing their part. Sweeping their steps, recycling their waste. Leading their families and coworkers to find Jesus in the temple. Our churches will be full again!

Hope springs eternally. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). 
(577 words)