A friend reminds me of the secret gem which hides in your life and mine. The question should not be of its existence, rather ones willingness and ability see and experience. The gem is the true smile. In the midst of chaos it is here. In the midst of pain and exploitation, it is here. In the midst of true inhumanity from man to man, it struggle and shines, alive if one is willing to but see. We live in a mixed up world – yet gifts of grace, mercy, and compassion dot our lives through the course of the day –
The harsh reality is, at least metaphorically, “the city is dead and deserted, bulldozed into piles of rubble. That's the way it will be on this earth. This is the fate of all nations: an olive tree shaken clean of its olives, a grapevine picked clean of its grapes. But there are some who will break into glad song. Out of the west they'll shout of God's majesty.” (Isaiah 24.12-14) It may seem odd, but we have a standing invitation of the one’s who have a standing invitation to a true party.
The difference for the average man caught in the swirl of life’s disasters and those who are stand tall, singing, and dancing through good and bad, is critical. The gap is not one born of ignorance or stupidity. The difference is never one of denial. Everyone finds themselves engaged in the messy side of life! There is no way to avoid the junk. What makes the difference for you and me is the perspective, response, and action one takes.
There is a pregnant question which for most remains unanswered. How do we see ourselves in the world? Are we takers, using what life gives us for our enjoyment, peace, and pleasure? There is an alternative approach which, in my experience, brings more peace, sense of purpose, and true joy. The alternative centers on community, our participation in striving for things greater for all, and sharing the journey with each other along the way.
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