The New Northeast

tracking the Spirit in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine

Facing an uncertain future with hope

One of a few dozen Mainers to travel to Boston on Saturday, April 27, for the Climate Revival, family doctor and member of St. John’s, Bangor, Ann Holland Faulkner Sherman reflects on her journey.

Ann offers a daffodil at the Boston bombing memorial during the procession across Copley Square to Trinity Church.

Ann offers a daffodil at the Boston bombing memorial during the procession across Copley Square to Trinity Church.

What is the stone rolled against the door of my heart, keeping me entombed?  It’s name is FEAR. Fear of change; fear of having to renounce some of the comforts of my life; fear of the pain of sacrifice; fear of ridicule and misunderstanding; fear of loss.

Can I, like Lazarus, hear the voice of Jesus calling me forth to rejoin the living? Am I able and willing to hear the confidence and calm assurance of his beckoning? Do I believe we are truly created one world, every rock, every flower, every beating heart, beloved of the Creator?

We have blessed each other’s hands, received blessing in return, been marked with the sign of the cross on each palm with the dark sticky soil of western Massachusetts. We have commissioned one another to go as healers of Earth, to bear witness and to pay whatever the price of our dedication to the community of God’s creation.

We heard the urgent message to take action in ways large and small from Thomas G.Carr, Baptist minister and Eco-Justice net-worker, as he proclaimed, “This is NOT an issue among issues. It is the quintessential moral, ethical and spiritual question of our time!”

Again and again in various ways and by different speakers, we were reminded that we are a resurrection people, a people of hope. Though our grief is profound in the face of Earth’s wounds, we can gather our strength and “seek in everything we say and do to glorify God” in the words of Rev. Geoffrey A. Black. The enemy will tempt us to inertia and despair, offer us cynicism rather than faith. But Jesus will lead us; his tenderness and ferocity will guide and inspire us. Together, we will breathe the creative breath of Life into our Earth, and God will continue to deliver the dead from the tomb.

Mother Nature smiled on our Climate Revival in Copley Square. Along Boylston Street the sun shone warm on trees blooming pink and white. On this first Saturday after Earth Day throngs of people filled the square as Bostonians and tourists crowded around the line of bike racks serving as a makeshift memorial wall for the victims of the Marathon bombings.

Services at Old South Church and Trinity Church drew young and old, from several denominations and from every New England state. Banners waved, people sang and prayed. In a city shaken so recently to its core by senseless violence, the juxtaposition of shock and grief against the glorious promise of springtime renewal reflected our own contrasting emotions as we contemplated the ravages of greed on our Earth and faced the uncertain future with hope.

God grant that we may heed the exhortation of Archbishop Desmond Tutu that “ordinary people must demand that governments put planet and people before profits.”

Let each of us feel a deeper and firmer commitment to climate stabilization and a fresh energy for doing the healing work to which we are called. I pray for the Holy Spirit to give us the courage to live our conviction.

2 Comments

2 responses to “Facing an uncertain future with hope”

  1. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas says:

    Thank you for this heartening message, full of hope and resolve.

  2. Luanne Baker says:

    This is so well written. Thank-you for your witness!

    I just put my husband in a plane bound for China to speak at an International conference on building an ecological sustainable future.

    We are faced with the ultimate challenge of saving this precious planet and the wonders God has created.

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