I believe in a better world.
Oh, I like this one. Even fallen in love with it sometimes. And that’s when it’s worst, because it always breaks my heart.
Sunshine brings drought, you see. Rain turns hurricane. And the person you love best succumbs to cancer.
Being a reporter means I have not just one story, but hundreds. And that I know tragedy is not always impersonal: Far too often it is a familiar face that causes the most pain.
Father, brutally raped 12-year-old daughter for a year and said, “Every dad does this.”
Wife, abandoned husband and children for lover.
Nephew, bludgeoned elderly aunt to death for credit cards.
I hate it.
I need no prodding to rage against the dying of the light. I am a shaker of fists at all that could be good but isn’t, a weeper, a screamer in the night. And, above all, I am a frantic scrabbler at bars.
Because that life the way it should be, that happy ending, is just that side of this barrier.
We are so close.
I used to think we could get there if I did the right things, said the right things. That if we just started the avalanche of love and truth rolling, pretty soon there would be a snowman big enough to make everyone happy.
It was a nice thought. Reality turned out not to be so attractive. As the promise is in us, so is the problem. And I can’t set your skewed equation right: I can’t even manage mine.
This is where the better world comes in.
I still see it, beckoning. And although I have accepted that I will never be the one to break the wall that keeps me from it, I will not abandon hope. Because I believe someone can, and someone will.
This is probably the wrong place to tell you that this hope of mine is not a poetic fancy or some frilly Disney spawn. But let me say this: Jesus Christ is as gritty as they come. I haven’t seen rougher streets than the ones He walks, or a clearer-eyed understanding of them than He possesses. And I haven’t come close to catching Him in a lie.
And yet He believes so strongly in that better world that He was willing to die to get me there. You, too. All of us, if we will.
It staggers me.
So this is what I think of, when I see that picture of a starving child. When I hear that someone’s best shot didn’t make it. Whenever my heart breaks, I remember that the most honest person I have ever encountered shares my belief in a world where everything is as it should be, and that He promised to take me there.
I can’t wait.