Record cold weather across the U.S. underscores the danger posed by a changing climate.
Most of the lower 48 has felt like the Arctic the last couple of weeks. And though the cold snap has finally broken for most of us, experts are already calling for the bitter air to tighten its icy grip next week.
I don’t know about you, but these cold snaps are difficult for me. Given the general misunderstanding that weather is the same as climate (which it isn’t) and that popular expectation that global warming will make people lived experience well, warmer, freezing temperatures always feel like they take the wind out of the sails of climate action.
Just when I think we’re making progress in the church, a fellow parishioner jokes about the cold outside with a dismissive, “Global warming, huh?” as we shuffle through the icy wind to our cars after service. Just when I think that general perception is reaching a tipping point, our own president tweets out ignorance and misinformation that is liked and retweet by hundreds of thousands.
But then the words of Paul call me back to hope. Hope in the truth that the work of shifting public opinion or of convincing every last person–whether a fellow church goer or the President of the United States–is not ultimately down to me. Hope that persistence and compassion are more powerful than ignorance and cynicism.
So if you too feel discouraged this week, remember the words of Paul. Remember that warm hearts can withstand any cold snap.
God of hope, our trust is not in governments or public perception, but in you and your coming Kingdom. When we feel discouraged in the work of educating and advocating for a stable climate, give us perseverance. When our hearts are cooled by apathy or disinterest around us, reignite them by the power of your Holy Spirit. May your will be done in your world as it is in heaven, and may we continue to be your servants, never tiring in doing what is right.