I'm surely not the first person to sit looking at the sunrise and feel grateful that I'm not yet out of time. A new day, another chance to get it right. The hope that floats up when I see that ball of warmth come over the hill is a blessing to me. Because there is a lot weighing me down, as I know there is every person everywhere. Worry and guilt and confusion about world events. Grief for the suffering. Anger toward the perpetrators of evil. Anxiety about the uncertain future of humankind. Not just our survival, but our moral turpitude. Our cowardice, avarice, indifference. But the sun is climbing up into today's blue sky, and something I was born with deep inside my psyche makes me think there must still be hope for us, hope for me. And work to do.
There is much I have no control over. In fact, everything on the far side of my skin is fair game to influence, but not control. So what will I do with this day? I pray that I'll use it up, drink it dry, every other metaphor for understanding the blessing that it is. Not motivated by fear of loss, but by gratitude for the time I am still breathing.
I have a voice. We all do. And that means nothing unless we use our voices to call for justice, for mercy, for compassion. I have a much better idea of what mercy and compassion are than I do justice. If we all got we deserved, yikes. Just yikes. Because I've never met a perfect person. So I have to leave justice to God. And I don't know what that looks like, in all honesty. I can't buy the Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God. Cotton Mather got it wrong, in my opinion. But thankfully, thankfully, thankfully my opinion doesn't alter God one iota. That mystery remains mystery to theologians much smarter than me. I won't call for the justice that cuts off hands and puts out eyes. Or condemns broken people to lives of serving other broken people. Or turns its back on children adrift in a sea of danger.
Mercy and compassion are easier to define. Feed the children. Comfort the grieving. Honor every child of God, who is everyone. Everyone. Every color, every creed, every child born of every mother. God created us humans, and every bit of matter on this earth. And then called us to be stewards of that creation.
The sun is above the tree that is growing strong and tall in the back yard. The tree leans a little because it shared space with another tree during it's young life. Like us. We lean a little from sharing our space. But that imperfection is the daily reminder that we don't get what we deserve any more than others who are struggling to feed their children. Many of us are simply gifted with this life of ease where we can type away on a computer, eat breakfast, go to work, drive cars, watch TV, eat more meals, sleep in a bed, wear clothes that fit. And wake up another day because we get another chance to get it right.