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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Keeping the Faith

Faithful, Invisible, Incredible, Impossible

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, til it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time the tide will turn. When you're down to nothing, God is up to something. The faithful see the invisible, believe the incredible, and then receive the impossible. Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”
Benjamin Franklin

I truly have no words to offer that could possibly improve that statement. I am still a believer in spite of the last two years of ugly acrimony in this land of the free and the home of the brave. I hope for the best, whatever that may be. I stand in the assurance that our form of government is strong, and will carry us through whatever trials may come. I am happy that the people who voted for Mr. Trump feel heard, feel they have an ally in government, that they will be the focus of his attention for the next four years. I have seen the empty factories, the blighted landscapes, the sad faces. Alabama ranks almost at the bottom of the fifty states in educational outcomes. There is still illiteracy and ignorance here. So, I truly hope that some of the policies being espoused by the new administration will help people in need.

On the other hand, the inner-city of Birmingham is not a hotbed of drugs, crime and crumbling infrastructure. It is a thriving, happening place. I have a hard time seeing the scene of dissolution described by Mr. Trump. The inner city here is being revitalized under democratic leadership. It's not perfect—they fight among themselves, but they are somehow getting the job done. The democracy is safe. Just this week, I was in a multi-cultural, ecumenical, planning meeting of sixty-five or seventy people, Faith in Action Alabama. Christians, Jews, Muslims, black, white, rich, poor, all working together to support just causes—right here in Birmingham, Alabama, the historic hotbed of civil unrest.

I refuse to go down the path of cynicism and hostility. I think pessimism is as poisonous as arsenic. It pollutes the heart, soul and spirit. I love the line in Benjamin Franklin's quote above that says, “When you're down to nothing, God is up to something.” We may not be able to see it in this new administration, but I do believe we will see it in the American people.

                                                              In the Spirit,


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