These extraordinary days are worth noting, not just for the record-breaking warmth. Have you noticed a shift in yourself or your neighbors? Do you feel more hopeful or more connected? Or less gloomy?
While out walking Morgan in recent days, I’ve noticed a few things. First, we walk quicker without ice requiring boots and cleats. Also, when it was the more typical cold of Minnesota January, we encountered very few people while out walking and those people would hurry on by. Not so when the sun is shining.
Yesterday, the streets were full of the sound of children laughing and playing. Some were playing ball in the streets, others were riding tricycles up and down their driveways, and others could be heard playing games in their backyards.
Adults also added to the sounds. They happily greeted one another while walking their dogs or pushing strollers. They leaned in car windows to chat with friends who were leaving and chatted while carrying in groceries. The silence of the cold was gone.
While we can all be grateful for bright, sunny days in winter, it’s also hard not to be concerned. These warm days bring the reality of climate change and global warming right to our doors. Who isn’t worried about the future of our planet with the abnormal warmth of these days?
Joy and worry sit side-by-side in our bodyminds. This is familiar, isn’t it? We carry such a mix of emotions at any given time, don’t we? Joy in the sun and worry for the future. Gratitude in connecting with our neighbors and concerns over the increase in sickness around us. Hopeful about some political changes and fearful for what might come in November.
Many people have asked recently how to navigate a world that is filled with so much to be concerned about. The reality is that it isn’t easy. However, faith helps us find hope. Faith helps us recognize the possibility of a different future, a future filled with hope and good things, to paraphrase the Prophet Jeremiah.
It isn’t that God will fix what we humans have broken. It is more that when we seek the ways of Love, we will be able to repair the damage that fear, hatred, and violence have done. Seeking Divine Love in ourselves and our neighbors changes us and changes the way we respond to the world around us.
We become the hope that is needed. Not any one of us, but all of us together. Together we embody Christ. Together we bring Divine Love into the world. Together we are able to carry despair and imagine a future of wholeness for all. If we can imagine a different future, then it becomes much more likely.
Take a moment to enjoy the bright warmth of the sun and to bask in gratitude. Then do something kind for yourself, your neighbors, or the planet. We are in this together, and together we are the hope for a new future.
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