Something always rubs me the wrong way when people tell us that hard times draw us closer together and teach us what is really important in our lives. “We’ve lost the country, at least we’ve got each other.” There is something inherently defeatist and depressing about that; accepting defeat, especially unfair defeat, is a hard pill to swallow.
Granted, there are people with strength left to fight for change, but what of those whose last years on this earth are spent witnessing the loss of everything they lived and fought for? The values family and friends died for? The greatest generation, and those not far behind them, are facing a world they don’t even want to know. Like a parent with a small child, I monitor the television when my parents are in the room, flipping channels rather than watch the shocked expressions on their faces as I try to explain that the movie we were watching took a sudden plot twist when the two male leads fell in love with — each other.
Our seniors are hardly naive though. If anything they are more lucid and painfully aware of what has been lost than everyone who came of age after the Vietnam war.
In New York State, my mother knew that her vote would fall into the “blue” hole. “If it is my last election, I WILL have a voice,” she said tearfully as she filled out her absentee ballot. Election night we watched as every good and decent candidate, even at the local level, lost out to some lying Progressive. My mother had a look of sadness as though the time to flee had passed and the Nazis were entering Paris. Being elderly and sick is hard enough, but having the last voice you hear be a cacophony of depravity shouting down God and American values… that is a torment our elderly should not have been forced to endure.
We are left to weather the storm as long as life sustains us, but “hard times drawing us closer together” seems something more akin to being told an asteroid will strike the earth in three hours. Yes, we will huddle and express the love that is in our hearts, but that doesn’t negate the sick feeling that we are being robbed of our future and the past we toiled at to ensure it.
Family gatherings for the holidays will be filled with indoctrinated young people, home from their liberal colleges and hate-spewing professors. Baby boomers who never got the SDS or the LSD out of their system will pull up a chair to the holiday table with renewed passion. Charlie Brown was maligned at Thanksgiving, and atheists are already leading their charge against “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” for “exposing children to Christianity,” the new Communism of our day. Any attempt to lay the baby Jesus in the manger will be an insult to many Americans who yearn to secularize Christmas into nothing more than a colorfully lit block party.
The time may be fast approaching to draw half a fish in the sand when we meet a stranger, in hopes they will complete it and secretly identify themselves as a fellow Christian.
We don’t know what the future holds, but many of us have an idea. My mother recently said, “The only person who eternally gets it right is the guy holding up the sign that reads, “Repent, the end is near.” For 2,000 years, nothing has been truer. Our ultimate victory is as yet unperceived in this world. It is time to shut out the din, shake off the dust, and interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for the eternal “breaking news” the angels brought to mankind. This Christmas, more than ever, we as Christians need to focus on our relationship with the babe in the lowly manger. That is a peace the world can never take away from us.