Monday, July 2, 2012
When Beauty Is Defense (Against the Dark Arts)
Sometimes, like today, I feel overwhelmed by the enormous sadness in the world. I saw an article about someone who intentionally set a dog on fire. It died. I listened to the news about Syria. It's not getting any better over there; people are still being shot, the government is still lying to everyone. My niece posts pictures of children in Russia who are waiting in orphanages for someone to adopt them. I know I will not be the one to do that.
I feel very small and very helpless. If I were a really faithful Christian I would read my Bible and get some comfort from it. But even that doesn't seem to be of any help today.
The only thing that seems to help is finding some small beauty to remember. In this case, some wild flowers Rusty and I found on a walk some weeks ago.
The beauty of these flowers reminds me that we are not all there is in this world, our sin and cruelty and lost opportunities of grace. In fact, we are mostly not all there is in this world. Even though we spend most of our time thinking about what we do and what we want and who we are, there is a lot more to this world that us and our interests. It comforts me that the flowers don't know how to fix this world any more than I do, yet they still have their place in it. They are incapable of fighting off the evil that exists, but they are indominable in their ability to bloom in spite of it.
Today, on the drive home, I wept and apologized to the Lord for my lack of faith, and for the terrible things that happened today. For Syria. For the dog. For my own weakness and fearfulness when it makes itself known.
I didn't get an answer. But I did get this image, this memory of these flowers. And for all it's worth, it helped.
So I guess my thought for the moment is this - I am helpless and of little worth in the world, but so are the flowers on the side of the trail. Still they raise their heads, they do what they can. It's not enough.
And it is.