Results make the difference. Critics and cynics are silenced, at least for a moment or two. Doubters pause and take note. Optimists see opportunities to copy and leverage. Good ideas are never as powerful as living examples. The impact rarely lasts long with those determined not to believe. Soon history is being rewritten so others can resume their prominent place. Politicians and corporate stewards are masters as this process. It is as if they cannot tolerate success in any corner but their own for too long. Everything is socialized to the point that nothing is exception, unusual, or monumental.
The fact that others succeed when some fail isn’t a bad thing if the success is used for the right ends. Far too often we react as if one person’s success is a threat to our self esteem. It doesn’t have to be that way! We are a community. We are a family. Even with all the pain, exploitation, and abuse that occurs we are in this world together. We can make a difference!
I love examples. The fact that one person models compassion, living visions out in the unusual, and bringing beauty to places of darkness is encouraging. The real payoffs comes in a smile of a child, the heart felt thanks of a mother in distress, and the grateful thanks of a man struggling to get something done. When I look with in a listening way I can find examples in every corner of my life. People do care. People are making a difference in the lives around them. People are struggling and succeeding against the odds. Every example is a story of God in action through fallible human beings.
This could be you and I today.
“Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread and, having given thanks, gave it to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish. All ate as much as they wanted.” (John 6.10.11)