With my greying temples, I would like to suggest a premise. Communities, through their actions, choices, and priorities, tell others their story. Families, in their collective choices, activities, and decisions give signs of who and what they are. Institutions, through corporate policies, votes, and behaviors give evidence of purpose. With each community no one individual decides, it is always a choice of the group. What follows is a sign of what is inside, for good or evil.
It is a hard pill to swallow. As much as I want to think I can dictate, I am merely a cog in the story. As I think I represent the whole, I find I can only represent an individual. We may assume that we are the team only to discover that the team is what it is.
Yet, there is something wonderful if we care to look at the positive. When I read how “they all met regularly and in remarkable harmony on the Temple porch named after Solomon,” (Acts 5.13) I knew that there was hope in that community. When I see one person caring for another, I know there is hope in that community. When I catch myself doing what is right for others, I know I am on the right track. Hope can be found in the signs of a community filled with truth. Hope can be discovered when people work together. Hope can be experienced when trust and compassion are companions in a group's journey.
The world is dominated by stories of injustice, exploitation, and greed. When people are hurting, anything other than compassionate help is driven by evil. When people are starving, it is not the time to focus on personal wishes and comfort. When someone needs a helping hand, responding may be the way Love embraces your wounds. One does not need to let evil dictate; freedom offers us a choice.
Today we will write signs for the present and the future. We will tell each other what is important. My prayer is that my signs are of compassion, love, and mercy.
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