Wait for It
I will stand at my watchpost. I will keep watch to see what God will say to me, and what God will answer concerning my complaint. Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. – Habakkuk 2:1-5 (NRSV, abridged)
I called 2020 the Year of Great Revealing. Everywhere the “vision for the appointed time” was made plain: Lost masks skittered down the street. Black Lives Matter chalked on sidewalks. And banners for presidential candidates decorated lawns and front doors.
In the sunset of 2021, many of 2020’s signs are still calling out for a vision.
But exactly what vision do these signs point to? Habakkuk says the vision speaks of an end: is it a happy one? Will the little apocalypses of this year finally and fully unmask the shrouded injustices, violence and inequality that have plagued our society since long before the Covid-19 exposed their depths?
So many concepts and phrases coursed through our mainstream lexicon this year: Vaccination. Minimum wage. Stimulus. Decarbonization. Perseverance and Ingenuity. Novel ideas that can heal our people and our planet. The messages of countless climate prophets, racial justice activists, and others are finally billboard-broad.
But no matter the signs, we are at risk of forgetting the vision once the pain is past, of reverting to the status quo. Chalk dust washed into the sewer, protest signs buried in the landfill.
Habakkuk waits to see how God will answer his complaint at the state of the world. And God finally answers: you write the vision. Make it plain. Keep your messaging strong. Don’t let up till this race is run.
God, remind us that no one leader will save us, or bury us. It is still up to us to stay in the streets and stay on message, for the world we long for. Amen.
Molly Baskette pastors at First Church Berkeley (CA) UCC. She is the author of several books about church renewal, parenting & faith, and spirituality. You can connect with her by subscribing to her newsletter, Doomsday Dance Party.