Slowly reading The Splendid and the Vile, I recognize an emotion that is similar to the daily feeling gripping WWII Britons: dread.

The book is a saga of Churchill, family and defiance during the Blitz. It’s a scary story!

Even though I know how the story ends, the author, Erik Larson retells the history in a way that communicates the dread, fear, confusion, and resolve that enveloped WWII Britain.

To live with the nightly apprehension of loss, violent death, or ruin . . . I can see why Keep Calm and Carry On became the byword. *


By German Air Force photographer


Of all the feelings I have throughout any day, I have identified dread as I read the appalling unfolding history of the  Blitz  . . . even though, as I said,  I know the end of that story so to speak.

Learning about this era means learning about the people who shaped it; most of whom — even the “Greatest Generation”  — would not pass muster under today’s magnifying lens of all we deem correct.

This generates dread; as does the conviction too many have: God’s not only dead; He never was, so He can’t be.

So, yes, I dread, and hope.

I hope for I believe the same God who carried His people through the Blitz will carry His people through COVID-19, the financial upheavals, another election, and the escalating cancel culture.

However, I dread  my country and our world will not snap out of our divisiveness, and tend to all our business: caring for people and our planet.

Concomitantly I hope that the church will revive and reform while there is time. That’s not a pipe dream – it is a promise; a promise for the already and  not yet.

But getting from now to then may be a more splendid and vile  endeavor as Churchill and Britain’s refusing to surrender to Hitler.

Time and again, the achievements of such humble heroes serve as empowering examples that the most powerful response to oppression is not resentment but resilience. This is the message that will empower young people to achieve and succeed. ~Robert Woodson

Resilience worked for Churchill and Britain; it empowers seasoned citizens, too.


Living in God’s will doesn’t require knowledge of the future. It helps to know history, though. Even better, it helps to know God who isn’t waiting to see how it all turns out.

“Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” (Isaiah 8:12-13)


*Prednisone and Proverbs: Keep Calm and Carry On

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