Saturday, December 26, 2020

See the Good. Be the Good. An Update

Almost three years ago I wrote a post I really believed in and that I hoped would be a source of motivation to others looking to make life a little better. It was a post on seeing silver linings, of looking for the good even in places of pain and disappointment, and it was about making even a small difference in the day-to-day life of others. See the good, be the good became a reminder that positive things hide even in negative places and that some days I might need to be that positive thing.

Many people will look back on this last year through tear-stained eyes, grief holding on tight to hearts and minds, as grief often does. When mentioning all that transpired, there will be understandable disdain for the events of the previous months and we will all collectively hold our breath for fresh starts and blank slates. But I cannot let this last year fade away as an unhappy memory when I firmly believe there is goodness to be found even in the most trying of times.

This past summer, my son and I watched every Marvel movie chronologically from Captain America: The First Avenger to Spiderman: Far from Home. Later my kids and I worked our way through the Harry Potter films. As we immersed ourselves in these rich stories of good versus evil, it helped to lay the foundation for uncovering the good to be found in this year. J.K. Rowling, in The Prisoner of Azkaban, gives Albus Dumbledore a memorable line. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.

That’s the thing about good versus evil. The light always wins.

The light always wins against the dark because the good, the One who is immeasurably and overwhelmingly good, has already triumphed over evil. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) Anything the world can bring us is only temporary because His victory is eternal. He is the light of the world that brings light to the world.

See the Good

Seeing the good means looking for this light; it means looking for big and little pictures of grace in a world that seems starved for good gifts. For our family, the lockdown created by the pandemic allowed for much needed rest after a difficult season of change we experienced the last half of 2019. The time at home gave us permission to slow down, to spend time together, to work our land and cultivate our homestead, and most importantly, to heal.

I know for some it was a difficult thing to find the good. In a year marked by sickness, death, loneliness, and fear of the present and future, it wasn’t easy to see even a small glimmer of hope. But leaning in to peer a bit closer, beneath the murky waters of this year, we might just find a shimmering pearl of goodness hiding in the sand.

I encourage you to look back and find a bit of encouragement from the last year that will help to propel you into the new. Even if you find yourself limping day after day, the goodness is that you are here. You woke up yesterday and today, and tomorrow you will greet a new day. In a dark season, that is enough.

Be the Good

But if you are ready, if you want to take a step toward adding a bit more light, I ask that you try to not only see the good in each day, but be the good to those around you. I keep reading stories of so many negative attitudes and behaviors; people have forgotten how to treat each other. We are collectively hurting and as the old cliché says, hurt people hurt people.

This new year will not necessarily mean all the bad will cease to be. On the contrary, we will probably continue to endure sickness, death, and loneliness. We will always have those in this broken world. The difference between then and now is that we can choose to be a source of light in dark days. We can choose small acts of kindness and edifying words. We can choose to be the good to those around us who need us to reflect the light of the one who has forever overcome the darkness.

See the good.

Be the good.

And as Dumbledore encouraged, remember to turn on the light.


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