Signs of Hope in Lent: The Power of Telling Our Story, Part 3

I’ll conclude with these reflections from an interview with Wendell Berry after Donald Trump was elected. Berry said,

“Happiness is a great mental faculty. It happens. One of the best things I know about happiness is that some days I’m happy. I’m happy! I didn’t try to be happy. I don’t have anything in particular to be happy about or happier than I was yesterday. But I’m happy…Well, what a great thing that is! How it undermines—suppose you’re just freely happy for five minutes—that just destroys everybody who’s tried to sell you something to make you happy. How subversive! It’s possible. Let me tell you young people, it’s possible sometimes to go for a whole day and be happy and not buy a thing! We have all these people telling us that what we’ve got is not any good: our house, our wife, our husband, our car; whatever it is, is not as good as a person of our stature and standing ought to have. And we ought to be very unhappy because we don’t have it…” (approx. 44-47 min.)

Then he goes on to describe his experience of civil disobedience at the governor’s office:

“I want you to understand. The score between the conservationists and the coal industry is 100 to nothing. We’ve been totally defeated. We haven’t got a chance. But that was one of the best weekends I ever spent in my life. We had the happiest time. And people sent us food and bedding and some people even came in and gave us a massage. So I think that’s the way you get on. You’re up against it, you’re hard up against it, you do what you can. And you have a good time. You love your allies, the people you’re doing it with. There was a great love in that governor’s office.” (approx. 52-54 min.)

In closing, please follow along with the handout called “A Litany of Resistance.” May this “work of the people” remind us of our hope-filled story. Especially in this season of Lent and the current presidency, I pray that God will fling us out into the harvest as laborers because the fields are ripe!