As If by God's Hand (revised)

From The Diary of Neuchar de Merlner, Europa, 2112
Verse 34: Nova Conta, Section 3
Comme Si Dans les Mains de Dieu (As If by God’s Hand)

Once in an age the forces of darkness align to bend the arc of history.

And once in an age, the arc of history bends around the wheel of one committed person who, acting from his or her own virtuous interests, changes the course of humanity: the child who raises the flag above the barricades, the mother who thrusts the picture of her murdered child before the dead eyes of the tyrant, the girl who refuses to deny her love for God even while her flesh burns at the stake—individuals who grip a shred of civilization with both hands and will not give it up.

And through the fidelity of that individual, the complex interrelationships carefully constructed by the powerful to order society to fit their personal ideologies and selfish interests collapse under the weight of justice and moral right.

The light of their virtues burn throughout history, despite the fog of interpretation. When this light is observed, it needs no explanation. It is remembered though demagogues, and armies strive to erase it from our hearts. Volumes are written to describe these single acts of faithfulness, and volumes are never enough. It is proof that humans are more than animals and that God lives in each of us.

That person acts not from selfishness or the desire for fame but instead from love and commitment. “Hero” is a label bestowed by those of us who benefit from their virtues, not a crown they reach for. For that person, there is no other way. He or she can live no other life and be fully human.

As if by God’s hand, through that individual, the forces of darkness are dispelled, and humanity is saved from the abyss.

I assign to you the mission to be that person every day of your life in small ways with every breath you take, and someday, you too may be the wheel around which history bends.

I assign this to you because civilization and freedom are not inevitable. Sometimes that person does not appear, and the forces of darkness consume everything, and civilization is lost for centuries.

(c) 2014, 2015 Benjamin R. Strong, Jr.

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