In one of my more discouraged moments recently, as I was trying to think of yet another way to say, “Consume less, recycle more, and compost already, will you?” I thought of God waiting in the desert for Abraham to believe he was going to father a nation of stars. I thought of God waiting for the Israelites to stop whining and get going to the Promised Land with Moses. I thought of God waiting for Americans to join Martin Luther King’s march to freedom for all. I thought of God waiting for me to think of something to say to the poor folks I meet on the street when I give them a dollar. God keeps promising, and God keeps finding new ways to express that promise through each of us. As I thought of God in each of those situations, tireless and patient, I thought of my own little piece of that promise. What message could I give year after year, no angle needed to keep it fresh? The message was clear, and it was so simple: “You are blessed, forgiven, and free.” It’s not possible to live those words in God’s world without joining the journey to the Promised Land. I can’t write them or speak them enough, and neither can any Christian. We are sent to help God redeem the world. We are to bless, forgive, and free the captives that evil and oppression hold in chains. That’s a message I can repeat, over and over, and never get discouraged.