Everyone knows these are dark times. Just listen to any conversation around you, and you’ll hear about the pandemic, the angry political climate, and a general feeling there is nothing good ahead. Nothing good now or in times to come.
But if we are people of faith, we know that is a lie. There is always something good coming—maybe a bunch of good and beautiful things to come in our futures. We believe in an ultimate reckoning with good declaring victory over evil, but maybe more pertinent to today, we can choose to see good things for our futures right here on earth. We can make the conscious choice to see kindness, goodness and observe hopeful encounters.
This week a dear friend of mine who is the outdoorsy type took her dog for a walk. It was a rainy, miserable day (her words) but the dog needed to walk anyway. They went down a wet, muddy trail, and my friend, who I love so much, determined to look for early signs of spring although it is the month of January. That, as crazy as it sounds, is possible in the Pacific Northwest. The flowers get confused by mild days and begin to pop up early.
She slogged along the muddy trail, searching for bits of color and hope, when she spied a glimpse of purple. She stopped and leaned down to remove several leaves, uncovering the most gorgeous wood violet in full bloom. She got down on one knee, leaned down close, and inhaled the “heavenly scent.”
If it had been me in the woods I probably would have missed the flash of color to begin with, but I certainly wouldn’t have put my perfectly clean knee down into mud for the privilege of enjoying the scent of the violet.
I might have missed the blessing entirely, or at best, would have gotten a partial blessing.
My friend got the full blessing. She loves God’s creation so much and knows all the little ins and outs of the beginnings of spring. Because of her observant eye, and her willingness to get a bit dirty, she found spring in January.
And that is my hope for all of us today. Can we look hard, with great intention, and find goodness where none seems to exist?
Can you? Can I?
Andy shares his story and how to compassionately approach praying for others.