Hope in the East
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
RWB Michael H. Shirley
There are days when I get depressed with the state of the things, and have trouble finding light anywhere. Today was one of those days, and, as is my wont, I turned for inspiration to Grand Orations of the past. Grand Orator Brother Beryl S. Kinser gave me just what I needed to read:
So, my brothers, let us, as Master Masons, let us always be facing the East, the direction from which comes light, hope, and promise, the bright and golden hours of the future.
In facing the East may we stand erect. The Supreme Architect of the Universe never intended that his workmen should grovel in the dust of negation and debasement or flounder in the gutter of moral disintegration and despair. This truth he impressed upon his prophet Ezekiel, a captive in Babylonia. God spoke to the prophet, prostrate in despair and hopelessness, alongside the Euphrates River, “Son of man, stand on they feet, and I will speak to thee. So may we be on our feet and face the East, standing erect, expectant and hopeful.
And then may we journey toward the East with regular upright steps, knowing full well that God expects of us rectitude of conduct and resolute purpose, for we are responsible and privileged persons, qualified to travel anywhere, to work and to receive wages.
When we journey toward the rising sun we are able to keep alive that glorious spirit which time and change can never make old. We will be moving toward the fulfillment of hope, the realization of better things to come and for us the dawn will come sooner and the light will get brighter….
Go East, old man or young man. Time and age have absolutely nothing to do with it except to provide the opportunity of adding wisdom and grace, dignity, stature and meaning, to life. Go East, man, and live!
There is hope in our gentle Craft, as Brother Kinser noted so eloquently. Sometimes it comes unbidden, without effort, but often it takes looking for it. Today I found it in the 1963 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. Look well to the East, Brethren, for there are better days ahead.
R.W.B. Michael H. Shirley serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois, A.F. & A.M, as Leadership Development Chairman and Assistant Area Deputy Grand Master of the Eastern Area. A Certified Lodge Instructor, he is a Past Master and Life Member of Tuscola Lodge No. 332 and a plural member of Island City Lodge No. 330, F & AM, in Minocqua, Wisconsin. He is Past Most Wise Master of the George E. Burow Chapter of Rose Croix in the Valley of Danville, IL; he is also a member of the Illinois Lodge of Research, the York Rite, Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees, Eastern Star, Illini High Twelve, and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon.The author of several article on British and American history, he teaches at Eastern Illinois University.You can contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org