Depending upon where you live, winter is probably beginning to settle in your vicinity. Days will be getting shorter, light will be more diminished as the afternoon progresses. You may find yourself starting your car earlier, allowing it to warm up, and allowing the defrost to clear your windshield and rear window. Temperatures will be colder!
Winter can also evoke silence, stillness and longing for the coming of the warmth of Spring and the return of more light.
Right now, this winter is marked by more darkness not only the lack of light, but also in the lack of thought and action.
When an estimated 800,000 people are not getting paid, laboring with the hope that they will be paid in the future, you know that you have a big problem. The government shutdown not only speaks to the poverty of right action, but it also screams the lack of right thought.
Whoever thought that depriving people the economic rewards of their livelihood, let alone during the holidays, was a moral decision? Those who are enacting this policy are treating human beings as nothing more that pieces being moved on a chess board.
The prophet Micah wrote:
“What does the Lord require?
But to do justice, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (however known)”
(Micah 6: 8)
Our leaders need a lot more humility. Lots of things can happen during government shutdowns. People can experience great challenges in paying bills due to decreased income. Delivery of some social services can also be reduced. There have been instances where federal programs that work with domestic violence, for instance, will experience reduced staffing. Here, when a tragedy occurs like a suicide or a child being severely injured, there will be limited resources available to help those who are hurting.
Politicians who say that there are minimal disruptions during a government shutdown are either delusional or exhibit what the Old Testament writers would observe as having “hardness of heart. “
A former President said:
“Come, let us reason together. “
Where is that sentiment now? The current fight resembles adolescents roaring their hot rods down the road in a perilous game of chicken. Who will ditch the vehicle first?
Jackson Browne has observed:
“And you would think with all of the genius
And the brilliance of these times,
We might find a higher purpose
And a better use of mind “
Here’s to a new year where we can find the presence of more light to guide us in our sight and vision along with the presence of more enlightenment to guide us in our thinking and in our action.
May it be so.