Monday, January 19, 2009

The Hope of Divine Grace

My friend Ron is the very caring owner-operator of a residential care facility. A converted alcoholic--Baptist. He has a good mind uncluttered by academics. He wrote me questioning the changes coming tomorrow, with the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama.

Mr. Obama resulted from a black-white marriage. He is half white, half black. Culture marks him as a black man, brilliant, gifted, discerning, and unproved, tho’ a man of faith. President-elect Obama campaigned and won on change. People were weary with war, political corruption, ideological self-interests, and lack of focus on the common good.

Thus change became Ron’s subject to me. His writing touched me; I felt a deep longing for truth and righteousness, but also a deep cynicism--felt by many. I found that difficult to relate to, and I excerpt from Ron:

Does pureness touching that which is not pure, become pure, and the answer is No". Simply said, pouring pure water into dirty water, will not make the dirty water clean. In our political system, the dirt has crept into every crevice of our political machinery, run by blind bureaucrats, boasting of brilliance, when yet in fact they are "Bullies", beating the innocent public into a blind submission. For the sole purpose of securing their own well being, rather than the interests of a public at large.

I responsed:
Pouring pure water into the dirty water will not make everything pure again; that is true. It is also true that the political system is corrupted with a great deal of filth. Your post suggests a great and hungering thirst for God, but I cannot relate to the cynicism and pessimism I sense in your writing.

My experience is that God makes things new; he transforms people, he enables transitions through impossible situations. Above all, he promises peace, the peace of his presence, and a reconciled state with others, along with a contentment that cannot be purchased with what you can buy. With Him as my hope, I continue in the faith that (1) with him all things are possible, and (2) my faithfulness will eventually carry me into his eternal presence--where evil has no existence.

That exercise reminds me I have lived in places where white fathers would deprive their children rather than allow them to be educated with black children. I have lived where white preachers were beaten and left for dead for educating young black preachers. Thus, I feel the audacity of hope as this black president-elect takes the oath of office tomorrow. I am grateful for the change achieved by our nation; I am proud to accept as president, the son of a single parent, from a mixed marriage, raised by his grandparents. If he can become the president of our great nation, anybody can.

I don’t expect utopia tomorrow, but I sense new purpose within our nation, a return to stronger moral values, opportunities for uniting and pulling together for the common good, as opposed to selfish and special interests.

Idealistic? Yes! Simplistic? Maybe. Impossible? Absolutely not! My faith is solidly anchored in the Judaio-Christian tradition. I believe in the early Americans that created the American Revolution to maintain religious and protect political freedom.

That rebellion against the unjust politics of King George resulted in a “Promisory Note” called the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Martin Luther King dreamed of the day when his Negro people could cash that check of equal opportunity.

The dream King dreamed, but never realized, was ignited by his Baptist faith in Jesus as the Christ who laid down his life for others rather than disobey the purposes of God the Father. A novel approach, but it provided Dr. King a basis for non-resistance and the Civil Rights Movement. The seed came from Jesus who declared Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends … and much more.

Accepting current hubris for what it is, and ignoring the dissonant cynicism and doubt of others, I affirm the audacity of political hopes fed by the promised changes of tomorrow. My hope is not in Barack Obama, nor in the politics of America; my hope is in God Almighty, known to some Muslims as “Allah.”

Had God Almighty not been filled with a vision of creative hope, He would long ago have discarded this selfish, sinful humanity that favors selfish-interests and refuses to discard war, ethnic cleansing, genocide, economic determinism, and other such malfeasance that prevent peace on earth.

God Almighty reigns as the author of change and transition, restoration and reconciliation. The very audacity of Divine grace stunts us with unbelief and doubt, Yet, that very Divine Audacity compels me to reject human doubt and cynicism and cling to Him with audacious hope.

No comments: