You may wonder why this column talks about being busy and making art and when little boys go to the dentist and such things, when our society seems to be collapsing all around us.
Indeed, these are perilous times, even foolish times, not to mention embarrassing and ridiculous times. Could any maniac have devised a more devastating situation than the one we are in? And in this time, everyone is an expert on whatever problem or situation holds the media’s attention for 15 minutes, or so it would seem as you peruse the news channels.
I heard someone say the other day that if we could shut the media down for 30 days, most of our problems could be tackled in a responsible way. Anyhow, you see why I don’t think another uninformed opinion helps the situation. Even raccoons know to skip my deck in bad weather; it’s just not worth the trouble.
However, remembering that the Bible says words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in baskets of silver, I venture the following statements. First, the answers to our societal problems, whether racial, politics, health, police, etc. will only be solved when our personal agendas are laid aside, and we truly seek the welfare of us all. There are examples on every hand to show that when we are obsessed by one single issue, it tends to blind us to the whole picture. That holds for politics, for race, for pandemics (and even for arguments with your wife).
Second, we need to remember that this too shall pass away. These days have a surreal quality about them — I keep hearing friends comment that we’ve never seen anything like this present situation in politics, health, race — it’s the perfect storm. But no doubt folks felt the same in the days of the American Revolutiion, in the days of the Civil War, in the days of World War II. But we shall wade through this time and come out on the other side, clearly into a changed world which one can only hope will be better.
Third, in a personal sense, let us use common sense. That’s tough when our news focus shifts daily between riot and pandemic, politics and world affairs. For instance, to speak about an area my readers can certainly identify with, let us use common sense regarding the pandemic. Cases of COVID-19 are still increasing in our area. We are a tourist area and a retirement area. That means our population is vulnerable to this killing virus, and we have a mobile population. Use common sense — wear a mask, keep social distance, be concerned about your neighbor’s health even if you think you’re safe. It is the thoughtful thing to do.
And finally, remember that this is God’s world. We can scrape the surface of it and build cities and rear up empires which pass away, but above the centuries stands God. Perhaps what we are going through is the making of our own hands; perhaps it is the hand of God upon our society. Regardless of your view, let your faith in a loving, forgiving God remain firm. This nightmarish time will pass away. In your own heart resolve to act as a Christian. Take hope from the glimpses of Christian maturity you sometimes see in others. Pray for grace to act as God’s child. God is on His throne; God answers prayer; God still rules.
Earl Davis’ column “Raccoon Theology” appears biweekly in The Blowing Rocket. Dr. Davis is an artist and pastor of the Middle Fork Baptist Church (streaming on Facebook) and can be contacted at email@example.com.