Tuesday, April 16, 2013

For Goodness Sake

I see a lot of goodness in the world.

I saw it last night when an older couple in our church made the 15 or so mile commute to be present at a meeting. She took in every word of the conversation, reminded us to please be sure that we are building the strongest children's ministry possible, commented when she could. He sat just outside the meeting room and waited for her the entire time - until nearly 9:00 at night.

I see goodness in the patience and dedication of men and women who rise before the sun in order to make hot coffee, set out donuts and other baked goods on a platter, and then open doors so unhoused neighbors can come in and start showering before receiving clean undergarments beneath the sanctuary of our church.

I see goodness when someone stops to help a family standing on the sidewalk in DC with a map in one hand and puzzled looks covering their faces.

I see goodness in the way a man in our church cares for his wife who has limited speech skills and sometimes becomes agitated in worship.

I see goodness in people who stop to buy a copy of Street Sense on the streets of Washington.

I see goodness when people smile and say "good morning" in a city where most people keep their focus on their next destination.

I see goodness in children who innocently play, laugh and find delight in new things.

I see goodness in tulips pressing their way up through the depths of the ground.

I see goodness in people who give to an Easter fund at our church, allowing our church to help when people are hungry or in need of a prescription or facing a challenge.

I see goodness in thousands of people who have rallied behind a woman and her family who just lost a 5-year-old son.

I see goodness when people take time to write a note or make a call, just to let someone know they are thinking about them.

I see goodness every single day.

With so much goodness in the world, how can there be so much hate?

How could anyone devise a plan to hurt as many people as possible at the finish line of a race that involved over 24,000 runners who have trained for months?

How could anyone create such devastation at a place where people stricken by loss at Sandy Hook Elementary School were also gathering because many runners ran the race for them?

How could someone carefully craft and execute a plan and then wake up today with a capacity to see their plan as successful?

On mornings like today, I find my faith in the words of John, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never overcome the light."

There is a lot of pain wrapped around the light. There are pieces of barbed wire that one must be careful not to touch. There are reminders of hatred and brokenness. But the light still shines.

The light also shines in us.

Goodness is always stronger than evil.

How can we be light in the midst of so much darkness....for goodness sake?

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