Why am I afraid? Why do I retreat, when evil is clear and near, rather than nameless and distant? Why do I lash out in anger, rather than burst with love? Here, as tyranny and hatred seem to reign, why am I not stronger? Why am I afraid?
There is no place for fear here. Not when there is history to be made, lives to be saved, and love to share. Not when the things which remain so dear to us, stay in question. Not when the different are mocked simply for being. Not when the mere articulation of struggle results in dismissal. Not when people’s lives are reduced to the costs or tools of an indifferent system.
No, we cannot give into fear, although there is much to be fearful of. A dying planet, the increased visibility of hate, the pervasiveness of falsehood, these threats cannot push us back into the dark, into silence or submission. They must push us out. Death must force us to live more fully. Hate must force us to love more deeply. Lies must force us to speak the truth more loudly. We cannot let the overwhelming face of evil allow us to do otherwise.
I know all this, but I am still afraid. However, I refuse to grow in fear. Let me live more recklessly, dangerously. Let me have a love unending, ferocious, and alarming in power. Let me be an extremist for what is good and true. Let me know that I am exalted by grace, even as I am driven by humility. Let me know this one great truth: I am you. You are me.
The time will come when all are seated at the table. When the house shall be open. When we shall overcome. We live now in a time of preparation. We must quietly do our work so we may live as one. So help me God, I love you. I believe in you.
Let’s get to work.
2 thoughts on “A Hymn for 2016”
Jacob! I really like your writing! It sounds just like talking with you too. And the things you said in this post are pretty much what I have been feeling, so thank you for saying and sharing it. You inspire to write what is in my heart and mind.
Thank you for this beautiful hymn. I admire your goodness and love.