Christianity, Emotional Health, Faith, Family, Gardening, Health, Hope, Positive Thinking, Prayer, Recovery, Relationships, Service Organizations, Simplicity, Spirituality, Trust, Uncategorized

“It is good…”

I wasn’t going to write anything this morning. I have a lot to do, both work-related and here at home; and to be honest, I just wasn’t ‘feeling’ it. My thoughts were scattered, and I was preoccupied with getting Sadie, our youngest pup, out of the living room (she’s a sneaky little devil). She’d run behind the sofa every time I’d open the door and call her. I’d shut the door and she’d come scratch at it to get out. Rinse and repeat. So, writing was the farthest thing from my mind…

I finally managed to get Sadie out of the living room. I’m not sure why cat food does the trick, but it seems to work better than treats. Anyway, I poured a new cup of coffee, sat down to check emails, and took a moment to log in to Facebook and check on my friends. After all the morning’s frustrations, I needed some of the raw humor my friend Edgar usually posts. Instead, I came across a video demonstrating what true friendship really means.

It seems a terminally ill chimpanzee was in her last days. She refused food and water and at 59 years old, she had earned the right to face the end on her own terms. Then a long-lost friend came in, a scientist who had developed a relationship with her in her youth. You should have seen her smile. The love and touching (apparently after a long absence) was amazing. I could see why chimpanzees share 98% of our DNA. I guess I needed to see it this morning because the tears began to flow (and yes, I cried over a chimpanzee video). It sent me back to the porch to sit quietly and still my thoughts. So, like it or not, here I am…

There are so many things in this life that I don’t understand. I read the newsfeed each day, only to become frustrated, angry, hurt, and often baffled by what goes on in the world. Several years ago, I signed a ‘Covenant of Civility’ that Sojourners (a ministry in DC) and many other religious leaders signed, as a means of committing to civil discourse in the areas of politics, social issues, and culture. My friend Edgar tells me that, while it’s hard to love unconditionally, it’s always possible to be unconditionally kind. The covenant was revolutionary – the idea that one could remain respectful and civil to those with opposing views given the vitriolic atmosphere of the times.

I haven’t always been true to my commitment. There are times I allow my anger get the best of me and say things I wish I could take back. Then there are times when anger is called for, like when people are crushed by the weight of oppression and violence and no one seems to care. Even Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple, right? The world can be a depressing place and sometimes my response isn’t pretty…

That being said, when I saw that video this morning, the world seemed to fall back into perspective. The creation story says that when all was said and done, God looked at all of it and called it ‘good’ – not perfect, but ‘good’. Sometimes I focus on the bad. Yes, there is a lot of evil and meanness in the world. Social and economic justice, stewardship of the earth, and living non-violently are important issues and need to be addressed, but I need to see the good in the world as well. I guess that’s what struck me when I saw the ‘chimpanzee video’ this morning. I’m so blessed to have friends to walk with me on this journey, through good times and bad. If I look for it, I get to see all the ‘good’ the Creator saw…

There have been times I’ve been critical of the way we do ‘church’, but I’ve been the recipient of the love and service of the one I’m a member of. I get emails from across the country from ministries like Sojourners, Repairers of the Breach, or The Simple Way that are making a difference in people’s daily lives. I hear about their successes and their struggles. I talk to my friend Rusty, and I see how his walk with Jesus touches the people around him. If I look closely, I’m surrounded by folks whose actions strive to make their (and our) world a bit better.

Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the negatives. After all, we’re bombarded with them on the TV and the Internet. Yet, I’m struck by the simple moments when I can hear God say, “it’s all good”. I heard it this morning when I saw the chimpanzee’s smile at a long-lost friend. I heard it last night when I picked some more produce from the garden. I hear it all the time from friends and family. It doesn’t mean it can’t be better. It just reminds me to stop and appreciate the ‘good’.

I went into our bedroom while ago and there was Margaret with all three dogs lounging around the bed. I wish I’d had my camera with me. It was good…

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