O Lord, we know that in your scheme of creation the sun rises faithfully at its time to announce a new day, bringing warmth and light and sustenance to all your beings.
But some days, your sun is hidden from view, the sky is clouded over. Some days, our eyes cannot see your sun, they are welled up with tears.
And some days, we cannot feel its warmth, our souls are troubled. We have closed off our senses and immersed ourselves in sadness.
On such day, O Lord, when we are lost within ourselves, remind us that even the longest, darkest night ends with a sun bursting into glory, beginning a new day with new promise, bright with hope.
And remind us that if we look beyond our fears we will find a ray of sunshine. We must grab it, hold on, use it to light our way through the day.
My grandmother, Rose Ridnor wrote this invocation on July 17, 1985. It was a Wednesday, and according to the New York Times, Moscow had offered new arms ideas in the Geneva negotiations. Today, they’re the aggressors in Ukraine.
On this day, over thirty years ago, President Reagan had a cancerous tumor removed from his colon. Today, Reagan would probably be appalled at the continuing arguments over the need to provide healthcare to those who can’t afford it or don’t have it offered through their work.
The Congress in 1985 was at an impasse over spending. The resulting compromise was for an additional $24 million over three years for non-military spending, and a $5.4 billion increase in the military budget in 1986.
Thirty years later, $24 million is a pittance compared to the $1.1 trillion estimated cost of the 2003 – 2010 Iraq War. The Department of Defense reported spending at least $57.8 billion on the war.
In 1985, Morton Bahr, the new chief of the Communications Workers of America called IBM anti-union, and announced a worldwide drive to organize the company’s employees. His efforts didn’t materialize and today employees are shuffled out the door with every dip in earnings, and those who remain are furiously competing with cheaper labor in Brazil, China, and elsewhere.
In 1985, the computer industry was in its infancy, nevertheless, seven people under the age of 18, who lived in New Jersey, were charged with conspiring to use their computers to exchange stolen credit-card numbers, and provide information on how to make explosives, and make free long-distance telephone calls and call coded-phone numbers in the Pentagon. They’d also obtained codes that would cause communications satellites to change positions, interrupting intercontinental communications.
Computer espionage is considerably more sophisticated and destructive today, targeting not just government entities and businesses, but individuals.
With the only constant in life being change, it makes sense, as my grandmother wrote, to look beyond ones fears, and a find a ray of sunshine that lights our way through the day.