Why Good?

I wake this morning to a flood of February sunshine through the window.

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Later, my phone will announce the astonishing news–10 degrees warmer today than yesterday. But for now, I simply slide my legs to a cool patch of the forest green sheets from our wedding shower. I curl my arms up to the pillow which has teased my hair into a mass of wild loop-de-loops all night. Outside the bedroom door, Ben makes coffee and scrolls through email under a bright-colored quilt with a view of the city skyline. My heart wants to burst.

Later, he’ll make me earl grey–my favorite way, with honey and cream–and I’ll sit on our IKEA couch that we wrestled together with our own hands, and eat bananas with nutella toast, just like the day so long ago when we first realized we belonged together.

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The cup feels heavy in my hand. Who can explain this?

So much of the world feels under siege– full of anger, violence, pain, defensiveness, hopelessness, emptiness, downright evil-ness. Who can explain the peace of a sunny morning, the joy of a day full of promise? In a world where so much has gone wrong, who can explain the astonishing ways in which they go right?

The flash of utter gratitude feels like a fire inside, feels the way the sunshine warms my toes through the open window. I can hear the truth of it echo all the way down my spine.

If we truly believe in a broken world, it’s not the pain and failures that should undo us.

If we truly believe we were hopeless without a Savior, it’s not the evil and suffering that should derail us.

Pain, failure, evil–our souls were never created to make sense of it all. The weight of this world can feel crushing, life-sucking, and I’ll be the first to admit it rather than downplay another’s suffering. Yet I can’t help but wonder why I’ve ever been surprised by pain and evil.

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Instead, as I walk up the slate-grey steps and slide into a pew, I’m astounded by good.

I’m overwhelmed that amidst this very broken, self-destructing world–this human race who has collectively denounced our dependence on anything but ourselves–that here I can still find the very presence of God. What overwhelming mercy from one who “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” What love from one who breathes life into my lungs and whispers to the daffodils when to bloom. What faithfulness from one who still pulls the tide back and plants seeds of love and eternity in the self-seeking hearts of mankind.

The world would tell us to expect good, reach for the best, see suffering and pain as interrupting our best life. The world would tell us that mankind is basically good, that evil and violence should surprise and must be explained because the goal is always happiness.

But as the breeze floats in the open window, sending goosebumps up my arms, I see how blind I’ve really been.

Lanterns - EditedbeautyRainbowPhoto

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