The Dawn of a New Year
Recently I was asked what has sustained me during this year of turmoil, upheaval, and – for many – tragedy. My answer boils down to one word: Faith.
Throughout this long political season of conflict and controversy, I have had faith in our country. I believe in the vision of our Founders to “form a more perfect union” by creating a government flexible enough to adapt to the conditions of war, recession, depression, and now lately a pandemic. Here we are intact today, 244 years after we declared our independence, having survived a pandemic and an extremely contentious political season. That’s something special.
I have faith in my fellow human beings. Men and women all over the globe have been tested during this difficult year. Yes, there are horror stories of people acting badly, but there are many more stories of nobility, of men and women who faced the challenge and rose to meet it with their very best – the health care workers who showed up day after day to provide care for those stricken by the pandemic, and for all others whose “ordinary” illnesses suddenly carried a heightened risk; the police officers, fire fighters, and other emergency responders who continued to serve our communities day in and day out, again facing an increased risk every single day that the person they rescued or the criminal they arrested might be carrying a deadly virus; and the everyday heroism of retail and warehouse workers who kept all of us supplied.
Above all I have faith in God. I recognize the difficulty in reconciling an all-merciful Father with the daily suffering we see all around us; and yet I do believe that amidst the chaos there is a Divine Logic that one day we might understand and accept. There is an old saying that “God writes straight with crooked lines.” We’ve seen a lot of crooked lines this year; someday I am certain we will see the true meaning that came of these seeming scribbles.
Like just about everyone, I’ll be happy to say goodbye to 2020. But I have faith that 2021 will be better.
Patrick J. Wood