I don’t know about you, but as I watch the news on television and read the news on the Internet I grow weary. I grow weary of all the violence. I grow weary of all the hatred. I grow weary of the lack of civility in public discourse. I grow weary of all the posturing of powerful people. I grow weary of the lack of viable solutions to the problems in our country and across the globe. I grow weary. Do you?
Then it dawned on me. This is exactly the way evil works in us and in our world. Evil manifest itself best by a gradual eating away at goodness. It distracts us from the good that we might do by causing us to grow weary of doing good. Evil, though found in the midst of violence and hatred, may well do its best work by convincing good people that there is nothing they can do to change things. And so we grow weary and so we lose heart and so we grow complacent and apathetic and stay silent and do nothing.
As the great Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis wrote in The Screwtape Letters, “Indeed the safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
The Apostle Paul had something to say in response to this weariness of heart and soul. In writing his second letter to the church at Corinth, as well as across time and space to you and me, Paul said, “Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.” Still, listen to what Paul went on to say. “We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God’s word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4. 1 & 2)
Do you hear that? Paul calls us to keep sound of heart and mind by committing our lives to speaking truth, and to do so without cunning, without falsifying God’s truth, which surely has to be about God’s love for all creation and all people, a desire that all should have enough and that wars and violence and hatred of each other should cease.
Of course, this kind of turning has to be grounded in prayer and relationship with God. In fact, I know of no other way to remove this weariness of heart and mind and soul.
So, won’t you commit to pray with me? Pray for all the hurt and heartache, for the least and the lost, for the hate and horrors, for the posturing and power plays. Pray until you have no words left. Then, let us stop the work of evil in our world by speaking and working for truth and faith by becoming beacons of justice, peace and love in the world. It will change your life and will, by God’s mercy, change our world.
Change my heart, O God, so that I may change our world, one act of love at a time. Amen.