Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hope in the midst of it all

I'm so tired of tuning into NPR every single day and hearing how many people have died in roadside bombings or some other sort of violence in Iraq. I'm tired of hearing about United States troops acting inappropriately and even murdering Iraqis. How does that happen?!? How does that make us any different than the thugs who served (and still serve) Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden? I'm so tired of it. I have seriously been on the verge of tears a few times in the past week as I listen to the state of affairs in the Iraq and Israel and the Sudan and now, again, Indonesia. It is so hard for me to understand.

But then, as I look ahead to Pentecost Sunday, I read a text that says:

"For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do now know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit interecedes with sighs too deep for words."
Romans 8:24-26
In those moments when all the collective hate and violence of the world seems to press in on me, choking me, stifling the very hope that would well up inside of me, I listen for the sighs of the Spirit, and I am thankful...thankful that in our weakness, the spirit prays for us and intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. In the midst of all my sighs, I pray for hope and for peace and for understanding and for compassion and for God to cast a web of love over the hearts of those who would do violence to their fellow human beings.


bonnie. said...

You know what I do? I just don't watch the news. In fact, I don't listen to politics stuff at all. If you try to discuss politics with me, you will realize I know very little. And I am happy that way. People get too into politics and they get very angry about it. I'm glad that reading that passage made you feel better :D.

Alan Bancroft said...

Yeah, I would probably be happier and feel more at peace if I just ignored what was happening around the world, but I just can't do that. I think we Christian folks are called to seek justice for everyone, not just ourselves.

As I'm thinking about your frustration with "politics stuff," I think we have to be careful to distinguish between politics in a legislative sense, and politics in a "what's happening with my neighbor" sense. I, too, get tired of governmental haggling, but feel like there are causes worth standing up for and situations that deserve serious reflection as to how they might be resolved.

Thanks for joining the discussion that is Renderings.

Leah said...

Kind of off subject, but not totally...

Not sure if your local NPR station is as with it as mine, but did you know that a house subcommittee voted Friday to further cut funding to public broadcasting? Anyway, I am trying to be better about writing my representatives, so just wanted to pass on the word in case you get an itch to write (as I see you make frequent reference to NPR).

BTW Hi!...sorry I've not written in a while. I hope you are well. I'll be driving through on Friday, will try to call to see if you are around. Birmingham bound!