The speaker and audience were connecting. The contrast between everyone around me and my quiet reflection was stark. With every remark from the front, the audience was erupting with cheers, clapping, and shouts. It was incredible! The speaker knew he was in a sweet spot. Without any visible effort, he slowly built things up into a roaring round of a standing ovation. Almost everyone in the room was swept up in the wave of emotion.
I do not think I was special. I did not have any particular insight that gave me a superior view. I had come in carrying the worries of my heart. His words seem to naively toss them aside. For me, his words did not make sense.
The audience was amazed. Using the words of another writer, “some were yelling one thing, some another. Most of them had no idea what was going on or why they were there.” (Acts 19.32) They were riding an emotional high. It felt good! There were always solutions to life’s problems. Bad things do not need to remain our lives. If we follow his simple instructions, everything will be taken care of.
The life I know is very different. Bad things happen to innocents and those less so. The way things unfold is often unfair. Working hard, doing what is right, and persevering does not mean that one will win.
On this particular evening, it was not my place to stand up and confront the speaker or anyone in the audience. I had no idea what I could do. I waited until the speaker sat down. As quietly as possible, I slipped out the back and into the night.
Since that night, I have often come back to my questions. I have no more answers today than I did then. I do know that life often shares wicked problems. I understand that answers are often more simple than I imagine. I can feel the impact of sadness that comes from Evil’s presence.
I wake to fresh opportunities. I have the freedom to make a difference.