Sunday, December 29, 2013

musings on goodness (or God, if you prefer)

Sometimes it’s far easier to believe that the world is an insidious place. There can be so much hurt and anger and outright bad that it’s difficult to see through it all. Like a murk or a fog that settles over the landscape, once you start seeing brokenness and oppression in all their various forms it’s very difficult to unsee them – not that you want to or should. It’s just that seeing the bad, hard things makes it difficult to see anything else.

And then there are times when the murk settles and the fog rolls away in the midst of very real goodness: A woman who’s lost her truest love smiles for the first time in a long time because her grandchildren are sitting at her kitchen table, drinking her tea. A man who spends half his life caring for his wife and after she’s gone that same wife’s picture sits on his girlfriend’s mantel because why on earth wouldn’t she? The generosity of a woman who has nothing to give and yet gives anyway – gladly and unapologetically. There is a blinding brightness to these things. They can show you the way through the fog. You just have to remember to look for them.

I often wonder if goodness (or God, if you prefer) isn’t neat and tidy. Maybe goodness doesn’t like clean lines, but instead prefers complexity and chaos and mess. Maybe it wants to sit in the hard places, wants the challenge of making something out of nothing (or less than nothing). It was YHWH who brought light out of the darkness, after all.

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