Words of Hope: Good News

Dad and I memorized a beautiful poem by Wendell Berry. One of the poignant lines says, “when despair for the world grows in me…” Despair is the opposite of hope. It is the helpless feeling of careening out of control with no possibility of rescue.  

My friend is an elementary school teacher. She has a little child in her classroom full of despair. The mom and dad hate each other and sling vicious and cruel words at each other.  

Despair is the outcome of a world devoid of love. Richard Dawkins debated one of my favorite theologians Dr. John Lennox. He was one of my dad’s favorites as well. We called him “Doctor Twinkle” because he was always jovial and delighted even in the intensity of the debate.  

Dawkins’ premise is that God is a delusion created as a comfort to assuage the despair of living on this violent, happenstance planet where the best we can do is to hope in fate and eke out a few years of happiness.  

I have always found that a repugnant point of view. A hostile view like a hostile home filled with emotions and philosophies that drive children to madness and despair.  

One of Bella’s friends is considering the existence of life at the crux. Are we randomly evolved, surviving, subsisting? 

But God has sent a message to the madness of mankind. His message is that love is the ultimate reason for living and resurrection is the hope. He provides healing, reason, kindness, and reconciliation. This is the Good News.  

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  – John 3:16 

The peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry  

When despair for the world grows in me 

and I wake in the night at the least sound 

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives might be, 

I go and lie down where the wood drake 

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. 

I come into the peace of wild things 

who do not tax their lives with forethought 

of grief. I come into the presence of still water. 

And I feel above me the day-blind stars 

waiting with their light. For a time 

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.