Cheers went up all around New York yesterday. I am not sure what they meant. A civil rights protester got out of jail, a trailing candidate received a major endorsement, a candidate was recognized by the current mayor as his choice for the future, and one side or another declared victory in a skirmish. Celebrations were showing up all over the city, while protests carried on at city hall. “When it goes well for good people; the whole town cheers; when it goes badly for bad people, the town celebrates.” (Proverbs 11.10)
Meanwhile; a pro-golfer with a six month old baby finds out that he has colon cancer and an estimated six months to live, a church pastor is hit by a car while jogging and dies instantly, and a friend lies in a hospital fighting to live against the ravages of disease. Other than being in a cruel world ravaged by the Evil one, I am not sure what any of this means.
Cheers mixed with cries, people celebrating hope and looking for compassion. You and I walk through this and wonder where we fit. Do we join the groups celebrating? Are we standing beside those in pain? Are we looking to make a difference or go along for the ride? Are the two extremes so far apart that we cannot be involved in both?
I suggest that the answer to both lies in the word “hope”. People celebrate because they see hope when good things happen and when bad things or people are held to account. People search for hope when disasters strike, because it is not the present that is at risk, rather the future. As we have confidence in the future, we find the present is here for living, enjoying, sharing, giving, and being.
There is much in this world I do not understand. Yet, in spite of and because of this, I look to the future with excitement and confidence! My hope rests with and in God. God, because of Jesus, offers compassion and a future to you and me. Cheers!