Kindred, the news is bleak. For we live in the valley of the shadow, when:

And yet, and nevertheless.

“Though the fig tree does not blossom, / and no fruit is on the vines; / though the produce of the olive fails / and the fields yield no food; / though the flock is cut off from the fold / and there is no herd in the stalls, / yet I will rejoice in the Sovereign / I will exult in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

Which is to say, rouse yourselves to maintain custody of your heart and shield it from the bootleggers of despair.

Let the baptism like that of firmeza permanente, a theological movement within the Brazilian church in the 1970s, born of the same impulse as the active nonviolence campaigns of the 1930s-1940s in India and U.S. civil rights movement in the 1950-1960s.

In other words, allow relentless persistence to soak you to the bone, so that you may stand ready to confess: “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing” (Arundhati Roy).

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