This week I was flipping through a book of poems written by Helen Steiner Rice and published in 1976 by Guideposts. One particular poem jumped out at me because the words so describe what’s going on in our world today.
Words of “Faith is a Candle” were written well before 1976 but amazingly could have been penned yesterday! They could refer to events in politics, religion, or life in general:
“In this sick world of hatred and violence and sin,
Where men renounce morals and reject discipline,
We stumble in “darkness,” groping vainly for “light,”
To distinguish the difference between wrong and right.
But dawn cannot follow the night of despair
Unless faith lights a candle in all hearts everywhere.
And warmed by the glow, our hate melts away,
And love lights the path to a peaceful new day.”
I don’t like to admit the negative truth but we do live in a sick world. With all the violence we see in our country and around the world, it is quite obvious that so many areas of hate exist – people lash out in anger without even considering a sensible solution to their dilemma.
The lack of morals has been seen everywhere, and the sad thing is it’s come to be “expected.” There seems to be no shame and no shock anymore.
As the poem says, we stumble in the darkness, trying to find some kind of hope that things can get back to what we have always considered “normal.” When even our leaders have trouble distinguishing between wrong and right, what are we to do?
We can be tempted to feel like there’s no hope and we might as well give in to the despair, letting whoever is the strongest force win the battle.
Then we remember that faith in God and what we know to be good and right does give us hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We must not allow the selfish and inconsiderate forces of the enemy to steal our joy and ruin the hope for a bright future for our kids and grandkids.
Like the poem says, the only way for the dawn to come is to have faith in our hearts and spread that to those around us – doing everything we can to let love outshine the ugliness and give peace another chance to win.
I’m reminded of the words to a song from years ago which say, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin in me.” It’s hard to start with just myself – I want to fix the whole mess immediately, but I must admit all I can do is work on myself and allow God to live in me. If many of us can do that, maybe a spark can become a glowing flame and good will triumph.
I have faith that will be true!
Lora Ann Huff is a Wenasoga resident and special columnist for the Daily Corinthian. Her column appears Friday. She may be reached at 1774 CR 700, Corinth, MS 38834.