Knoxville — Sometimes it’s hard to believe in those “better angels” we’re told we have inside us.
Right now I wonder, especially as Bob (my husband) reads the Long Walk to Freedom of Mandela’s struggle for equality that earned him 27 years in prison. Or, I question, as I read about beautiful Hawaii, our 50th state, and the deceptive way that USA missionaries, sugar cane merchants, and Navy ambitions took away their language, their culture and their independence. Or as the papers tell me about corporate owners of places like Walmart and McDonalds who make billions while their workers struggle below the poverty level. Where are the “better angels”?
As I remember these horror stories, I’m also hearing and joining the songs of the season. We’re singing of love and joy and peace! How can this be? Is it “our better angels” singing their longing for a better way – a way that lives out that message from the manger?
I scratch my head, searching. Is there any goodness in us? Slowly memory starts to work. It was September, 2013. Bob and I were driving across Indiana on Highway 80; it was hard to find a motel because Notre Dame football fans filled them. Finally, we found one. It was late and 10 miles to the nearest restaurant, an Applebee’s in a place we’d never heard of. But we drove there and had a fine meal. We especially enjoyed our very pregnant waitress, exchanging tidbits, like where we were going, where we were staying, and how soon her twins were due.
When we got back to the motel, the clerk called out to Bob, “Hey, they’ve got your wallet at the restaurant.”
“What?” How did that happen? How does the clerk know? What will we do? We’re not up to that ten-mile trip again. Besides, the restaurant is closed.