I feel like I’m living through the 1960s again. That’s what I was thinking after I read my Facebook newsfeed this morning. It was scary back then, and it’s scary now. As usual, when I’m contemplating The Big World, a song popped into my head—Bob Dylan’s “The Times, They Are A-Changin'.” When I searched for the lyrics, I found out that Billy Joel had performed it during his groundbreaking tour of Russia in 1987. He chose it, he said, because the Russian people seemed to be going through what America had already experienced in the 1960s. (Yes, Billy Joel and I apparently think alike. Who knew?)
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’
[from "The Times They Are A-Changin']
There was so much turmoil in the 60s—the war, the fight for civil rights, a complete social revolution. And there’s so much turmoil now—the war, new battles for civil rights, more social revolution. At the heart of it—then and now—have been enormous groups of people who couldn’t communicate with each other. We just keep drawing lines in the sand.
A long time ago, I saw a funny greeting card that read, “If you can keep calm while those around you surrender to chaos . . . there’s a good chance you don’t get the gravity of the situation.” There’s real gravity to our current situation. I think we all agree on that, no matter what side of the political fence we're on. And I think we're all hoping and praying that the people we've empowered to do something about it have the good sense to pray for wisdom daily.
While I'm praying for wisdom myself, I'll be holding onto this:
Peace I leave with you,
my peace I give unto you:
not as the world giveth,
give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid.