In these divided, conflicted times, when so many people feel alienated and angry, how should we respond?
Jonathan Sacks is the spiritual leader and Chief Rabbi of the British orthodox synagogues in the United Kingdom. In his book Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times, he describes conversations with a number of Holocaust survivors.
He writes: “They were among the strongest, most life-affirming people I have ever met. For years I wondered how they were able to survive at all, having seen what they saw and known what they knew. They had lived through the deepest darkness ever to have descended on a civilization. Eventually I realized how they had done it. Almost without exception, when the war was over, they focused with single-minded intensity on the future. Strangers in a strange land, they built homes and careers, married and had children, and brought new life into the world.”
Based on what he learned from those who suffered the horrors of the Holocaust, Sacks concludes: “To survive tragedy and trauma, first build the future. Only then, remember the past.”
As we go through a time that seems so discouraging and difficult, will we place our trust in God so that we may face the future without fear? Will we share the light of Christ’s love with those around us so that the darkness will not overcome us? Will we reach the place of not just surviving but thriving because our hope is in the God whose love never fails? We get to choose. What future will we build?