Dear Faithful Readers. All six of you. I’m sure that you are friendly and sympathetic to my infrequent reports from life, and I thank you. Today I must shed my sunny optimism for something harsher and more, well, realistic. That is, I have come to view the person occupying the big desk at the White House as the apotheosis of Evil. (Go ahead. Look it up. I’ll wait…..)
I’d go with definition number two in Webster’s Collegiate: the perfect example, not (definition one) a divinity. However, there’s evidence that others would grant that Evil permission to exercise power in support of what they consider Divine Law. Therefore I see a deep-seated idolatry at work.
This Evil perpetrates destruction, destruction, destruction–the exact opposite of the original plan for the universe, including human life, which is creation, creation, creation. This Evil acts through division: dividing faith from faith, nation from nation, race from race, rich from poor, and alas! men from women. We are being ripped apart into tribes speaking different languages, violently opposed to one another.
I cannot look at or listen to this Evil without feeling sick. It requires exhausting energy merely to keep looking away. Yet I know that looking away is not the answer. I and all others of good will must actively resist, beginning with the conviction in our own hearts and minds that goodness, compassion, and lovingkindness among all humanity is the prevailing trajectory.
Here’s something I’ve found helpful.
During my summer retreat on the island in Canada, I began reading the Psalms, one each day. Upon returning home, I continued this practice, choosing a version I had at hand which uses a quaint and elevated language. It is the Psalter in the Scottish Book of Common Prayer. Here’s a wee sample, at random, from Psalm 37: Fret not thyself because of the ungodly: neither be thou envious against the evildoers…Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good: dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Psalm after Psalm the message is this: There are bad people out there. Always have been, probably always will be. Fix your eyes and your thoughts totally on the good and live in that stronghold. This moment in history–an eyeblink in terms of the cosmos–is neither unique nor permanent. Each of us, however, must fulfill our purpose for good.
The bumper sticker version: Love One Another. No Exceptions.
Thank you for you.