For businesses, today is black Friday. Such is the name given to the day after Thanksgiving. For businesses the idea of black is good. Black to a business is when their profit sheet goes from red to black, or so they say.
It is a black Friday for me as well. My view of black (and for goodness sake, it has nothing to do with race) is not as good. For me, black Friday is a day to remember the tragedy, hostility, adversity, and stupidity of the last year.
I try to base my life on the church year rather than the secular one. My new year begins this Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent. So instead of reminiscing on December 31, I do so on black Friday.
This past year has not been a good one for spiritual direction. This last year I was forced to leave a memory care center because I report abuse that was happening there (maybe, just maybe I will quit charging windmills so day….no, not likely). It was a year I had to sit back and watch my wife pushed out of her ministry because she was more about nurture and the pastor was more about numbers. We are now looking at the possibility (only the possibility so far) of being homeless. Well, Jesus was homeless so maybe it will not be the worst thing to happen to us).
This past year was also black due to anti-vax people, trumpites (I will not capitalize this man’s name), gun violence, more revelations of racism in our country, and terror threats. So, my black Friday will be a time of contrition for any part I had such terrible things, repentance for the things I have done and not done, and prayer for forgiveness, guidance, and discernment for whatever is to come.
I do not know what this next year will bring. Maybe, hopefully, Jesus may return. If not, I hope this next year I can find ways of service to make next black Friday a little less dark. Amen.
And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Rom. 5:3-5 NRS)