In this time of turmoil, there is always hope - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

In this time of turmoil, there is always hope

September 13th, 2020 development
In this time of turmoil, there is always hope

By Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D.
Guest Writer

How much more can we endure?  Almost 180,000 of our fellow citizens have died from this scourge of a pandemic that just does not want to go away.

The streets are filled with angry people, also our fellow citizens, who because of frustration and despair have determined that the only way they can be heard is by mass demonstrations.

These demonstrations have now become armed camps, no one wants to listen, everyone lives in fear. People, our fellow citizens, are killed, property destroyed, cities burned, and lives shattered.

And, if that is not enough, a terrible storm of wind and rain and destruction has engulfed parts of our country and devastated land and people.

Each day we wake to a new tragedy and upheaval. It is truly a nightmare that has encased us in darkness with no light in sight.

Sitting at my desk, thinking about how difficult life has become, how hope seems to have been lost, and faith thrown somewhere in the wilderness, I am reminded of something I read a long time ago.

Perhaps if we read the words by an unknown author, we can learn something in these times of unrest and torment.

Perhaps if we study them carefully (the words), we can settle down and try to find common ground so that this nation, filled with so many dreams, will realize once more that the dream is not over. 

It is just covered in darkness because we neglected to remember that God is our salvation.

“Come in, God said. “So, you would like to interview me?” “If you have the time,” I said.  God smiled and said: “My time is eternity and is enough to do everything. What question do you have in mind to ask me?”

“What surprises you most about humankind?”

God answered: “That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again. That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health. That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present nor the future. That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they have never lived.”

God took my hand and we were silent for a while, and then I asked: “As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons you want your children to learn?”

God replied with a smile: “To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. What they can do is let themselves be loved. To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but whom they have in their lives.

“To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. All will be judged individually on their own merits, not a group. To learn that the rich person is not the one who has the most, but one who needs the least.

“To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them. To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.

“To learn that there are persons who love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings. To learn that a true friend is someone who knows everything about him or her and likes him or her anyway.

“To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves.”

I sat there a while enjoying the moment. I thanked God for the time and what God has done for my family. God replied, “Anytime. I am here 24 hours a day. All you have to do is ask for me, and I’ll answer.”

Perhaps this is the message we should concentrate on.  Perhaps this is the message we should be hearing from our spiritual leaders.

Perhaps this is the message that can bring us together as one people dedicated to the betterment of all.

Perhaps this is what our leaders should be thinking as they determine the path for our salvation.

Just perhaps! And through it all there is hope.

Rabbi Irwin Wiener D.D. is spiritual leader of the Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation.