Doubting Thomas, Revised

This morning in church, during the sermon, our priest mentioned that he had recently stopped following the news, for his own spiritual health. That, instead of immersing himself in all the bad, he was choosing to look for the good in the world.

This struck me the wrong way. I hardly paid attention to the rest of the service because I was stuck in a loop in my head, trying to figure out what it was that bugged me so much about that statement. At first, it felt like privilege, and in some ways, it is. Sure, you can ignore the news, if you’re not the person in danger of being deported, or of having the healthcare you depend on to survive stripped away, or of losing the ability to love the person you love in public. When your very livelihood is on the line, ignoring the news is foolhardy at best.

But it wasn’t just privilege that bugged me. It took until the final hymn to figure it out. While we sang “God of Grace and God of Glory,” one of the lyrics gave me the answer I was looking for:

“Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore.”

Weak resignation. Not paying attention, not standing up and fighting, not screaming at the top of our lungs for justice — that feels like weak resignation to me. And look, I get the urge, for sure. Watching as the rich steal more from the poor is gut-wrenching. Clicking on another news story about gun violence or police brutality or LGBTQ people being murdered breaks my heart, every single time. There are certainly days when I say to myself, “I can’t read another thing that makes me angry or I’m going to go straight to my bed and stay there until the world treats us all a little bit better.”

But I still believe.

I believe in a God who strengthens us to fight the injustices in our world.

I believe in a world where our faith (whatever that may be) inspires and enables us to respect the dignity of every human being.

I believe that it is right to give God thanks and praise, even when — especially when — all we can see around us is evil and sin.

Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.