Last week, I turned off my computer and completely tuned out the news. I tuned out the vile vitriol, the hatred, the distortions, the bias, and manipulations that have come to characterize the 24/7 media of our day. Alas! Media distortion isn’t new, however. Irish poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) penned a poem in 1913 entitled The Old Stone Cross in which he takes issue with journalistic integrity (or rather the lack thereof). Here is William Butler Yeats poem:
A statesman is an easy man, he tells his lies by rote.
A journalist invents his lies and rams them down your throat.
So stay at home and drink your beer and let your neighbors vote. (poetryverse.com)
Taking a cue from Mr. Yeats, I have done just that—-stayed home and, well, while I’m not really a beer drinker I do enjoy myself an occasional Guinness Draught Stout. It reminds me of Dublin, the city after my own heart!
In my garden, I have planted a variety of peppers, tomatoes, squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, daisies, roses, lemon grass, lemon balm, peppermint, basil, hibiscus, sage and lavender. It the middle of my garden, I have placed a stone statue of Mother Mary. She is surrounded by roses, pink, yellow, and lavender. In the tranquil early morning, I sit with my hot coffee, listen to the red cardinals, blue jays, brown-winged hawks, and rust-colored robins sing like a heavenly chorus high above the cherry laurel and oak trees in my backyard. It is in this tranquil setting that I meditate and focus my mind on God’s blessings, on Jesus and his message of love, forgiveness and redemption, on Mother Mary and her obedience to God’s call in her life. In the stillness I pray. In the stillness I rest and accept those things I cannot change and I ask God to bless me with discernment to change those things that I should change, and that I have the power to change.
I find peace and truth in the quiet of my garden. I find peace and truth that only God can give. This world and all that is in it passes away. Only God’s peace and truth remain.
Isaiah 26:3-4 tells us: You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is the Rock eternal.
In John 14:27 Jesus comforts us: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
I cannot tolerate the constant onslaught of violence and hatred in which the media relishes. They no longer report facts, but rather design “stories” to incite hatred, anger, strife, division. High drama sells. I, for one, choose to step back and not allow myself to be manipulated, to be made afraid.
Of course, I do not stick my head in the sand and pretend everything is perfect; of course, it isn’t. I choose to rely on My Lord Jesus for strength in the storm. I choose to rely on My Lord Jesus for help in danger. I choose to rely on the comforting words of My Lord Jesus.
Jesus told me not to let my heart be troubled and to not be afraid.
I put my complete trust in Jesus’ holy words and in His promises.
Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2020