Like so many generations before us, we find ourselves in a time of great uncertainty. The drums of war beat on the far horizon and for many of our young people, we are now in prayer that they do not strike for them. What is more, many of us find ourselves unsettled as our days continue to become more clouded by the murky waters of ill-timed power sparring.
It is a frightening time, to be sure. Disconcerting and daunting for all of us who must face the road that lies ahead. Worst of all is that we do not know what that road will be.
When my father died in 1991, roughly six months after the first Gulf War ended, he died on active duty in Washington. We had missed our final Christmas Eve with him because he had been writing wills for the young men and women going over to fight in that conflict. He had served our country in various ways through the Army JAG Corps for over twenty-five years by then.
But when we brought him home for his service, we used a very familiar hymn as we carried him out to lay him to rest. My mom later reflected that she had found him late at night in his final months memorizing the lyrics, holding the paper like a man lost in the desert craves water.
My friends, we do not know what tomorrow will bring. There is already so much death, destruction, and displacement occurring. What we can do is hold onto hope that, one day, the world will be set aright again. And I offer you pieces of my father’s favorite hymn today in that fervent hope:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come. 'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.