"This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all." I Jn. 1:5
This week a friend put up a thank-you to people who were working on her local road. She included with it a photo where she was sitting in delayed traffic at the time. I immediately 'got' it. She and I have both lived in places with not-so-good roads. And when you then get great local services, you notice and appreciate it! In fact, our main road has been delayed for weeks now because of a new water pipe being put in alongside it. And I don't mind a bit!
The other day we met a man with terminal cancer. He's doing well right now but if he lives for too much longer, he'll beat unbelievable odds (something like a 3% survival rate). We didn't meet him before the cancer, but meeting him after, well, it was pure privilege. He spoke of the faithfulness of his Savior, and how much the internal part of him has changed for the better through the trial. How he's become passionate about the One that he loves.
Little nuances of how we perceive life experiences make all the differences in how we live. Whether we see things in a hopeful light or are immersed in the negative.
This morning I drank coffee with my lovely girl for whom life has not been easy, and who has been spending this year finding healing for those scars. And I listened enthralled as wisdom poured out of her mouth. Words of discovery: healing, wholeness and Him. Especially Him, and how her whole paradigm has shifted, moving through the pain to be infused with the belief of His innate goodness and love. Her hand unconsciously flitted to words etched on her collarbone, "There is always hope." Words put on her skin when hope was just a seed, but now sprouted and growing. Same girl but with the perspective that light and healing can bring.
Recently Ann Voskamp pointed out in her blog the two great questions agonized over by the philosopher Augustine. The first one is, "If there is a God, why is there so much evil?" And the second, "If there is no God, why is there so much good?"
The first question can bring you to your knees. But the second will keep you there in reverent awe. One is despair and the other the essence that is true worship.
One of the things discussed with my girl was the concept that while Creation 'was good,' the appearance of evil has made this place into something we're not designed for. It's left us with unfulfilled longings and made us homesick for a better place. The deep understanding that we're actually not all right.
But in the midst of that is the reminder. The certain knowledge of something better with little glimpses of Heaven along the way. Reminders of what He's preparing for us. Glimpses of Him.
Days like today seeing hope in the eyes of someone I love more than life. When the winter storms cease and the sun warms your skin. When you go to sleep with peace in your heart or wake with the certainly of a smile. When you walk on the beach and marvel at the power of the waves. When wrapped in the embrace of a loved one or in the thoughtfulness of a friend. (And sunflowers!)
|All photos today by the brilliant Cathi Geisler|
Both of Augustine's questions are worth taking the time to ponder. But we should never get stuck on the one without the balance of the other. Light dispels darkness, goodness is the absence of evil, and evil isn't unbeatable----it's just the absence of Him.
"In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind."