Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Is Everything Beautiful?

This morning I was thinking of a line from a song from my youth. The line goes, "Everything is beautiful, in its own way." I loved that song. But this morning - I don't even know why the song even popped into my head - and this morning I was thinking, everything is not beautiful. Many things are beautiful! But not everything is.

That's not just me, being negative or pessimistic. It's just a fact of life. Sex trafficking is not beautiful. Greed which over-develops properties, or develops them wrongly, and causes septic flooding into homes following heavy rains is not beautiful. Anger and pride and jealousy and all the things which cause violence, wars, and shootings are not beautiful.

So I looked up the song lyrics...and it sounds like it's actually more about looking for the good, mostly looking for the good in people. And perhaps the more we can acknowledge the good in people, perhaps, the more things really can be beautiful.   

But I think we have to acknowledge the sufferings of others too, and especially not blame them for their sufferings...so they will go away and leave us to see only "beauty" (or convenience or comfort; isn't that why we do it? If we blame someone for their sufferings, then we can sit back and enjoy our own "beauty", right?).

I think we need to acknowledge the ugliness in the world in order to have compassionate hearts. I'm not talking about harping on the problems in the world. I'm not talking about dwelling on the ugliness. That can be just as dangerous as pretending it doesn't exist. But I think when we acknowledge that people have cause to suffer, cause to complain of suffering, we can better show mercy, whether it's a world-wide event or something right in front of us.

I think we can, then, better show mercy, whether it's acknowledging that God made people of all races and abilities, and that he sends young souls to peoples of all religions and cultures...or whether it's helping a tired, elderly person who is struggling to buy a drink at the vending machine at the airport...or stopping to listen to a homeless person who just wants someone to talk to...or slowing down and remembering to breathe before answering that family member who we think is being annoying.

It is said that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but I think maybe it's also in the eyes and ears, and voices and hands, of those who help to produce it.

Sunday, May 06, 2018


"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

Sometimes we find Him at church and sometimes in the works of His creation, sometimes both at the same time. 

Be with us, Lord. Comfort us and strengthen us in the trials of this world and help us to comfort and strengthen others. Amen.