“. . .It’s got me hoping for the future
And worrying about the past
‘Cause I’ve seen some hot hot blazes
Come down to smoke and ash. . .”
a few lines from Joni Mitchell – Help Me
Giovanni Bellini / Le Christ Bénissant 1465-1470 / The Louvre / Paris, France / Julie Cook / 2011)
Has the past left you worrying about the future?
Will the future find you wistful for the past?
Does the present find you hopeful about much of anything?
Have you turned on the news, read the paper, seen the stories. . .
Terror attacks on the beach
Heads chopped off like weeds.
Migrants are flooding across the seas
Legislation turns topsy turvy
Killings where we worship
Good guys set bad guys free
Sharks are hungry in the surf
Flags flap in the wind
That which is seen now as bad must be stricken from sight, from history, from acknowledgment—
Seek and destroy quickly lest anyone notice.
Hysteria is crying foul as the masses must now acquiesce.
Simply wipe it clean with the sweep of a pen and that’ll make it all better.
Don’t pause to consider the bigger picture.
Just erase it from view and that’ll be the end of it.
Rewrite what was and that’ll keep them happy, quiet, confused.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Is straddling that fence getting uncomfortable?
Is the grey any more clear?
Upside down for one is now right side up for many.
Thought you knew which way to go. . .
When rainbows once came after the storm
Hope grew out of the past
History directed the future
and everything made more sense. . .
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 Peter 4: 12-19