I just have to watch the Newshour at 6:00 pm or read the New York Times daily briefing to come to the conclusion that our world is covered with millions of acres of wilderness-and not much consists of thick green vegetation. And how many voices are crying out, or seeking a path-to some peace, to shelter, to food, medicine, basic human needs.
Imagine the terror in Egypt as terrorists branch out to a mosque, killing over 300 men, women, and children, as they are in prayer. The sound of weeping is thundering.
And then there is the picture of the Muslim Rohingya on a miles long path, trying to escape the atrocities committed by the Myanmar military. Ethnic cleansing and/or genocide are words used to describe what is happening in that country. Who knows where that path ends?
Those events are just the tip of the iceberg. Look what is happening in parts of Africa, Syria, Ukraine, North Korea, and many other countries, too many to list: famine, disease, lack of shelter, extreme poverty, human rights violations-way too many examples of “man’s inhumanity to man.”
And in our great country, the areas of wilderness are way too many to describe, but even a partial list is overwhelming: devastation due to hurricanes, wildfires, other natural disasters; discrimination and bigotry, gun violence, opioid addiction of epic proportion, sexual harassment. Oh yeah, some political turmoil as well.
There is personal wilderness, too... of grief and loss, diagnosis of serious illness, loss of job, maybe even a very real threat of eviction from home.
Too many voices, too many paths needed, and I don’t have a clue about how to prepare the way of the Lord. But I woke up very early this morning thinking about this very incomplete picture of the number of voices crying out in each wilderness. And then I looked out the window and caught a glorious sunrise over the lake-“for the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the sky”-and there is Hope.