Saturday, August 13, 2011

Riots, Anger, and ?

“Where does that leave us? In a hard place, knowing in our guts that a lot of troubled kids are coming up, and not knowing what to do about it. The problem, at bottom, is love, something we never talk about in public policy discussions because it's too soft and can't be quantified or legislated. But little children without love and guidance are afraid. They're terrified—they have nothing solid in the world, which is a pretty scary place. So they never feel safe. As they grow, their fear becomes rage. Further on, the rage can be expressed in violence.

What's needed can't be provided by government. When the riot begins or the flash mob arrives, the best the government can do is control the streets, enforce the law, maintain the peace.

After that, what? Britain is about to face that question. We'll likely have to face it, too.”
--- Peggy Noonan in the WSJ, August 13, 2011

I think Peggy wrote one of her best columns ever today, having not so much her usual opinion about things as they are in the world, but a reflection. How did we get here? And where exactly are we at? There are no simple answers to those questions, nor to her final one: What’s next? But we do need to think on it; we’ll have no choice. Perhaps people like Eleanor Josaitis, who I wrote about yesterday, are part of the answer: we need more people like that. We need to BECOME more people like that.

Yesterday morning I read again a hymn which I have probably read a hundred times before, but in light of the events of these days, I saw it in a different light. I found a new wisdom there, and perhaps insights on what we should be doing these days --- what our God might be asking us to do in these times.

Lord, whose love in humble service
Bore the weight of human need,
Who did
on the cross, forsaken,
Show us mercy’s perfect deed: (Perfection --- love of others)
We, your servants, bring the worship
Not of voice alone, but heart? (Sincere, deep)
Consecrating to your purpose
Every gift which you impart.
(All we have is Yours)

As we worship, grant us vision,
Till your love’s revealing light,
Till the height and depth and greatness
Dawns upon our human sight;
Making known the needs and burdens
Your compassion bids us bear
. (Accept humility; it will be thrust upon you)
Stirring us to faithful service,
Your abundant life to share.

Called from worship into service
Forth in your great name we go,
To the child, the youth, the aged,
Love in living deeds to show,

Hope and health, goodwill and comfort,
Counsel, aid, and peace we give,
That your children, Lord, in freedom,
May Your mercy know, and live
. (WE do HIS work)

--- by Albert Bayly


  1. How beautiful and how needed! Thank you! Love can't be quantified, measured or 'provided by the government'. Sometimes even as a mom, I feel inadequate to love my grown "children", but I struggle to do the best I can. Then I hear about their friends whose parents won't even have anything to do with them anymore and I know that just by trying I am doing A LOT and I know that my children know it too. O God save Your Little Ones and those who are still little at heart. Every small thing we can do to reach out to our youth is reaching out to the child Jesus and to the future of our planet.

  2. There have been a number of articles lately, like Peggy's. They give me hope, as do some of the actions I see. But it is just a start of a long battle, and it won't be one won by any government actions.

    This morning I heard a debate on the radio about a part of the Michigan state constitution: it guarantees school supplies to children --- ALL children. Callers to the show were saying how they were tired of shopping for their kids and will demand schools supply pencils, paper, etc. They're tired of shopping for their kids, and WITH their kids. I guess with supplies, lunches, clothing, the only thing missing is housing, then these "parents" can give their babies to the schools and then meet them after graduation from high school, and not HAVE to do anything until then.

    I felt so depressed at hearing that show.