Everyone, you, the person you don’t recognize, the neighbor you cannot stand, and the one you love, has a reason to lament. The world can be incredibly cruel. The community in which you live can be extraordinarily unfair. Friends and family can strike even as you express your trust. The ability of man to be inhuman to his fellow man is a fact not something one speculates about. The reality of pain and anguish is well known.
Some believe the story ends here. In their view there is “no more wine, no more vineyards, no more songs or singers. The laughter of castanets is gone, the shouts of celebrants, gone, the laughter of fiddles, gone. No more parties with toasts of champagne. serious drinkers gag on their drinks. The chaotic cities are unlivable. Anarchy reigns. Every house is boarded up, condemned. People riot in the streets for wine, but the good times are gone forever—no more joy for this old world.” (Isaiah 24.7-11) Yes, there is more but can or should anyone look beyond the ugliness which surrounds us all?
My response comes in two parts. The world can be ugly, horrible, and truly disgusting. The stench of the worst permeates every corner of this world in ways one could never imagine or anticipate. Yet there is something more to the world in which we live. Our world is full of incredible beauty, natural and man-made. We have natural scenes which uplift, inspire, and encourage. We have the freedom to create, make decisions, and grow. The most incredible beauty lies in how people respond to the ugliness – acts of kindness, compassion, and mercy…especially when it is unmerited and given without thought of recognition or compensation.
We, you and I, lie at the heart of the world’s greatest beauty. We have the opportunity to shape our world’s laments. We can lace the blues with real hope. We can be, see, and live the awesome acts and reality of life’s greatest beauty.
We can but it takes something from us; a choice. Today, this moment, is ours.
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