A well-meaning person insisted I read a book about the end times and the rise of the anti-Christ. With the terrible headlines all over the place, they couldn’t understand my reluctance to fill my mind with the author’s blood-soaked schematic for the end of all things.
It doesn’t take much to understand that we’re entering an era of humanity fraught with more potential for terror, bloodshed and horror than ever before in history. Be that as it may. There are other things pressing on my mind, however. For our family, the daily challenge is raising a young child, educating her, feeding her, clothing her, getting her healthcare, and teaching her values and faith in a hostile world. In other words, it is supremely difficult to deal with the job at hand while watching videos of Christians in mass beheadings and prophecy buffs sharing their particular vision for biblical apocalypse.
Pious platitudes aside, there are real needs pressing on Christian families at a time when evangelicalism and much of Christian fundamentalism is either corrupt beyond redemption and/or obsessed with escaping the whole mess they helped to create.
A few weeks ago, we had visitors at our home. They were Christians who at one time were listeners to the radio program I co-hosted. They had heard I had been sick, and they stopped by with a basket containing dinner and several other encouraging things. The little girls had a wonderful time with Emily, and the two women and I talked and talked. Their presence was such a blessing in our home.
This is a recurring theme at the Hope Blog – the need for friendship, the genuine kind. People can flip out trite phrases and verses and hashtags on social media, but their presence is what makes the most difference. This article, How to be a Friend in Deed from the NY Times, is very practical. Having been at both ends of need through the years, I agree whole-heartedly with what this article says.
if you have some thrills and chills end times books, please enjoy them. For many of us, we have to focus on what is at hand, the pressing needs that won’t wait. The end may be near, but until it comes, there are burdens we can help lift and hearts we can encourage.