The beginning of the First World War in 1914 brought forth from Sir Edward Grey, England's Foreign Secretary, the prophetic comment, "The lights are going out everywhere in Europe..." This comment was to be a truly prophetic analysis of four years of death and destruction. What I try to remember in my reading of history of that war was that in the spring of 1919 those lights began to come on again. They've come on after every war, after every natural disaster, after every personal tragedy, after grief, loss and heartache in any of our lives. I cannot know how many beautiful children died this very day somewhere in the world or how many marriages came apart or how many failures there have been or defeats suffered. Their name is legion of course. Whatever the number, they were lights going out in someone's life.
Then, I look out the back window where I live, out across the patio, and I see what it means in Genesis 8:22, "seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall never cease." The caretaker here on this Thursday morning is cutting swaths through the burgeoning grass, farmers down the line are putting in corn in straight rows that go on for half a mile without a single flaw in the row, birds are making their nests and bees are buzzing for all their worth. Not only this but everywhere there is recovery after sickness (I love the Prayer After Recovery in the Episcopal Prayer Book), comfort after sorrow, hope after despair and life after death. Perhaps there could have been a better world created by the Creator God but this one is pretty good as far as I'm concerned. I've done some gardening, fed the birds, petted a dog, laughed at some jokes, loved my neighbors and especially my family and feel this may be the best there ever was. Life does that, making lights come on again like a 1000 kilowatt bulb right in our faces.