Gate of the New Year

2021 opened with the highest rates of hospitalization we have seen yet in this pandemic. Six days in, the attack on the US Capital last week threatened the very foundation of our democracy. The events of last week exposed the raw underbelly of violence and racism which runs a parallel course to the lofty ideals in the founding of this country. Perhaps at no other time in my life has the choice been so clear and the consequences of appeasement so dire.

In these uncertain times, I am reminded of the opening words of King George VI in his 1939 Christmas broadcast to a nation facing the challenge of war. 

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied:

“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

“God Knows” by Minnie Louise Haskins

Often called simply “The Gate of the Year,” this is actually a preamble to a longer poem “God Knows” written by Minnie Louise Haskins as a fundraiser for her mission work in India, work which her health prevented her from continuing. Later Haskins taught at the London School of Economics and Politics, dedicated her work to improving relations between workers and employers. A fellow professor wrote Haskins was “A woman of unusual capacity and character … a rare understanding and sympathy and infinite patience, combined with a great deal of love and interest in people.”

A great deal of love and interest in peopleWe desperately need this kind of love and interest in common discourse.  

While we do not know what the future holds, we do know who holds the future. 

Put your hand into the Hand of God. Place your trust in the wisdom of God to direct our footsteps as we walk boldly together in hope through this unmarked terrain to what lies ahead. 

One who rises early to seek the wisdom of God will have no difficulty for wisdom will be found sitting at the gate.Wisdom 6:14

Nancy +