Honesty, especially early in the morning is tough. We want to believe we look good while the night still hasn’t left. Externals tell the whole story, don’t they? The simple answer lies in two parts. No, we, at least I, rarely look good on the outside in the morning. Yet the story doesn’t end there. We have the heart and the soul. Ah, things can get worse before they get better!
In the middle of a noreaster moving through New York I find the wind, rain, and cold refreshing. The city is cleaner. The lights twinkle and smile through the wet reflection on all kinds of surfaces. The elements push people together, bringing out a kindness of missing in the sultry heat and humidity of August.
Honesty is a rare gift. Far too often one finds cynicism hiding in the guise of honesty but telling half the story is never enough. We need to see life with all grit, ugliness, and realism we find each day. We also need to see through these elements to the beauty, wonder, and awe present in every day. Even as I shared dinner last night with friends, huddling in the corner of the restaurant, nestled next to a warm steam pipe sheltered from the elements, I found myself enjoying the warmth relationships can bring. The world, for all its problems, disasters, and uncertainties, can be a wonderful place. The heart lies in what we see and the relationships we nurture.
Long ago one person observed what can happen to a city; “Oh! Can you believe it? The chaste city has become a whore! She was once all justice, everyone living as good neighbors, and now they're all at one another's throats.” (Isaiah 1.21) This can happen to your life and mine, your home and mine, your community and mine today, if we let it. On the other hand we can be the difference.
In the midst of bad, we can offer hope. In the separations prevalent in our communities, we can offer acceptance. Honesty isn’t all bad; it includes beauty.
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