What does it take to frighten you? For some it’s a dark alley. For others it’s scary people, especially in the right settings. And for some it’s simply the uncertainty of the unknown. Any, actually all of the above can invite shivers to your home. New York and the east streets of London have been home for many. They have also carried fear to the hearts of those who would dare to walk the streets, especially after night. When I think of the streets of the world’s cities I have walked after dark I find myself looking for a quiet corner in which to recover.
The world can be a scary place, especially in the communities and corners where Hope has been lost. If Hope disappears, even for a short time, fear moves in. Fear seems permanent. Gangs and thugs ruled New York for generations until the communities began to take a stand. Jobs, opportunity, and education were almost nonexistent, until Londoners began to see everyone in their community. Yet progress of yesterday in any community doesn’t represent safety for you and future generations. Actually it’s the opposite. Danger lurks at every corner. Danger holds residence in your heart and mine. Fear is danger’s sidekick. We would do well by ourselves and those we care about to be aware.
Some seek refuge in the apparent strength of the strong and indulgent. The picture can seem bleak, without Hope there is rarely much light. Some believe the dark side of human existence will always be strong, outlasting Hope and any who would try to hold onto the ideals of compassion, mercy, and love.
One writer reacted rather strongly but it would do us good to remember the image painted then and now. “Hyenas will curdle your blood with their laughing, and the howling of coyotes will give you the shivers. ‘Babylon [Danger, Fear, and Self glory] is doomed. It won't be long now.’” (Isaiah 13.22)
Hope is here, resting in your heart and mine. It is ours to nurture and to plant in the hearts around us.
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