Lately I’ve heard some pretty sad stories and seen some pretty sad things. People are living with real emotional pain and all the effects of trauma and loss; children are neglected and bearing loads they should not have to carry; illness steals people from our lives and injustice is rife. We want to patch up the brokenness but find ourselves ill-equipped and confused, sometimes causing hurt when we only wanted to help.
I’ve often posted about these kinds of observations on this blog, often wondered very publicly about the point of it all and about the concept of hope. And here I find myself again, asking some of the same questions. The fact is that, at least for now, there won’t be complete, tied-in-a-bow answers for me – not really.
But I think there is a kind of answer in my day to day. When I get up each morning, go to work, see family, take to facebook, I have minute by minute opportunities to put one foot in front of the other. To trust that it will all be OK in the end. To act in a way that spreads goodness. Sometimes, this theory barely seems enough and at other times it seems the answer to saving the world – but as yet, it is the best answer I have found.
As a Christian I believe there is a God who will make it all OK, a God of goodness and love. Sometimes I really don’t understand him, and sometimes, when I see pain and suffering, I doubt his love. I doubt his wisdom. And yet I do keep believing. Since I was a child there have been times of doubt but never enough for me to abandon my faith, or at least never with any long-term conviction.
Somewhere in the Narnia books there is a quote about the lion, Aslan, who was meant to represent Jesus. Something like ‘He’s not safe, but He is good’… This is one of the concepts that keeps me holding on to hope.
And then there are the ‘Lucy’ moments. The character Lucy in the Narnia series receives encouragement from Aslan in such sweet, quiet ways. Often it is described as a ‘whisper’ to her heart. Often, no one else sees him. I’ve had moments like that – times when little phrases or objects or views arrest my heart and still me for a moment, long enough to receive the encouragement I need to keep going, to keep pressing on until one day it all makes sense.
Watch for those moments, believe in them, and in the meantime be the good in the world.
Image found via Pinterest
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Revelation 21: 3-6