Dear Friends in Christ,

Are you feeling as overwhelmed and powerless by the constantly breaking, troubling news as I am? Well, although a bit dated, I found that Frederick Buechner’s article NEWS in Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter’s Dictionary gave me a bit of helpful perspective.


      When the evening news comes on, hundreds of thousands of people all over the earth are watching it on their TV screens or listening to it on their radios. Disasters and scandals, scientific breakthroughs and crimes of passion … wars, negotiations that fail and others that succeed, the perpetual search for peace—people sit there by the millions half dazed by the things that go to create each particular day. Maybe they even try to make some kind of sense of it or, if they’re not up to that, at least try to come to some sort of terms with it, try to figure out how it’s apt to affect them for good or ill.

      There is also, of course, the news that rarely if ever gets into the media at all, and that is the news of each particular day of each particular one of us. That is the news we’re so busy making that we seldom get around to sitting down and thinking it over. If it takes some extraordinary turn we might, but the unextraordinary, commonplace events of each day as they come along we tend to let slip by almost unnoticed. That is, to put it mildly, a pity. What we are letting slip by almost unnoticed are the only lives on this planet we’re presumably ever going to get.

      We’re all of us caught up in our own small wars … . We have our crimes and passions, our failures and successes. We make our occasional breakthroughs. God knows we are searching for peace. It’s all apt to happen so quietly and on so small a scale we hardly realize it’s happening. Only an unanswered letter. A phone conversation. A tone of voice. A chance meeting at the post office. An unexpected lump in the throat. Laughing till we cry. But these things are what it’s all about. These things are what we are all about.

      Maybe there’s nothing on earth more important for us to do than to sit down every evening or so and think it over, try to figure it out if we can, at least try to come to terms with it. The news of our day. Where it is taking us. Where it is taking the people we love. It is, if nothing else, a way of saying our prayers.

      In these days of virtually endless news cycles, our personal news cycles seem insignificant. But if Buechner is right, if the news of our day is a portal of prayer, perhaps that is were we will hear God calling us to become the answer to the prayers we make. Perhaps the intersection of our news cycle and the world’s can bring the news back to a human scale in which our actions have significance and the hope we have in Christ can touch our world.

~Pastor Susan

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