A wonderful part of being in California is the quiet. Not always but frequently enough the only noise is the quiet whisper of a gentle wind. You look around, surprised to find mountains and blue skies. I can sense the nearness of chaos and turmoil. I can almost feel it trying to come up and over the hill. I know it is nearby, but as I look around me it is almost as if it doesn’t exist.
I know California isn’t like this everywhere. For many this part of the world is comes with the normal struggles of the day. You find individuals taking, or at least trying, advantage of those in the community. You find the exploiters just like you would in any large community. The good and the bad are all around; what you find true for others is not to found in the place I call home. It is as if home has a wonderful voice filled with peace, comfort, and hope.
I wonder what the voices are like just beyond the island. I’m sure there are others beacons of hope and peace. I am equally confident that there are places in this community sitting in silence. “They say nothing, because they are nothing—sham gods, no-gods, fool-making gods.” (Isaiah 41.24) The contrast is stark.
The question “why” begs to be asked and answered.
The answer lies in the people one find present in a place and time. Granted there are many nice physical things you can experience in our California home. Yet as I listen to the occasional voices of anger drifting towards our house, I realize evil exists in good communities as well as those struggling to survive. Hope and peace are not for sale, regardless of one’s power in the present.
You and I make a different wherever we find ourselves. We can be God’s voice or silence. We can fill our souls with Hope or despair. We can paint compassion in our community or wreck havoc. Today I pray my voice reflects the God of Hope, Compassion, and Love.
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