Faith during Dark Times
I wanna break a bit from tech and FOSS to talk about current events. Yet not as news; you’ve already got a lot of news outlets, commentators, podcasts, and social media posts from all ends of the political spectrum for that. I wanna share with all of you guys some feelings around why we need to keep our faith during these times in which everything seems to be falling apart, whatever your political and social views are.
These are hard times. I won’t deny that. It’s not just the ongoing war in Ukraine, the world economy, the weariness and exhaustion after the pandemic, but also a general tension in people that comes from way before 2020 if you ask me. It’s also happening at a local level. I just learned about a trans girl who was brutally beat up by a mob in a Catalan town just this week. No matter what your position on trans people might be, I think we all can get behind the idea that beating up people because they’re different is morally wrong.
You all know I believe in Jesus and that I believe God speaks to us through the Bible. For me speaking of evil is super easy: if I believe I’ve been saved by Jesus’s sacrifice, I know what I’ve been saved from. However… and maybe this is my linguist soul speaking out of years of slumber… one thing i’m always amazed at is how little we talk about things being evil. We do praise goodness, but when it comes to evil, I’m under the impression that we’re afraid to tell the whole truth. An attack on a black person due to their race is just a “racist aggression” nowadays… which of course it is, but hell… We should also be denouncing that someone who does that is morally corrupt, evil… and the problem with evil is that it spreads like a disease.
There’s a huge piece of wisdom in «Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.» (Proverbs 20:22 ESV)1 Whether you’re a Christian or not, I mean… if you repay evil with more evil, all you’re doing is multiplying evil. Do we really want that?
And the huge problem is that I see the effect this has on younger generations. Not getting into details, but I had a conversation with my younger brother these days… you know, the kind of chat where you don’t say anything relevant but the tone tells you everything you need to know? He’s beaten up and he’s just 24 years old. And I also remember some posts on Mastodon, when I was on it, and younger people always seemed very, very depressed. Way too nihilistic.
It breaks my heart, to be honest.
I hate using myself as an example, but I was emotionally abused by my parents, I’ve been homeless, hungry, kicked out of my home with absolutely no other thing than two bags… I’m a recovered alcoholic… When I tell you I’ve been saved, it’s not just in the spiritual sense, but also in a very real, tangible way… and yeah, there was a time in which I thought the younger generation were just being “snowflakes” and that I knew what Real Suffering was. I call out my own BS, seriously; the truth is that younger people have been robbed of hope in the future and many have lost their sense of purpose. That leads to real suffering as well, even if you’re living in a fancy house and your parents love you.
We all need to fill our souls with something bigger and higher than us. If you ask me, the answer is God. But I’m not here to preach to you because I believe Faith is a calling and I myself was called step by step, little by little, and it took me a lot of time to submit myself to Him. He’s so loving and patient, though…
But look, and as this is a FOSS blog (apparently), Linus Torvalds is an atheist, as far as I know. Now, let’s be honest: you don’t get to create Linux and also lead the project for more than 30 years now if you don’t believe it’s a good thing for the world. To become a Torvalds you need faith, even if it’s faith in your own work bringing good to people. I’d say that’s imperfect, but I’d also say it’s sorts of a shade of believing in God. And I cite Torvalds because he’s as uncontroversial in the FOSS community as he can get… but it’s not because of the size of the Linux project… If you’re just writing small patches to other people’s projects because you wanna help, hey, that means you believe in helping others and contributing and building things that may help others. To me, that’s also faith. It’s purpose. It’s you directing your life outwards.
Social media doesn’t help, though. The whole bad energy everywhere makes it easier to refuge ourselves in our own little world… and crouch on our beds wondering why everything is so terrible nowadays… and then go onto a rant to let the steam out. I also do it (I try not to, but hey, I’m human), so I’m not blaming anyone. The world is overwhelming… but we can make it better.
Because… if you do good, it also spreads like a good “disease.” And good comes from good hearts… and good hearts come from God, no matter if you believe in Him or not. There is something of divine origin in all of us, which makes us do incredible good things, even as small as helping your neighbor take out their garbage. Good is always good.
So, honey, if you’re weary, have faith in your own goodness. It’ll change the world for the better, one good deed at a time. And if you’re a Christian, always remember Isaiah 41:13.
Sending you all all of my love 💌
See also 1 Peter 3:9 and Romans 12:17, to name a couple passages more. ↩︎