The world is a crazy place. Just look around at all the headlines. Scrolling through Facebook is like maneuvering through a minefield. My stomach lurches at the sight of any political posts and begs me to keep scrolling. But I’m oddly drawn to read the articles and the comments. I find myself reading the battles between people I have never met. Before I know it my peace and hope for humanity has nearly evaporated.
Meanwhile, my littles call out to me.
Child 1: “Mom, can you play?”
“After I read this hope-sucking article that will keep me awake worrying about your safety and future.”
Child 2: “Chips? Dink? Pizza?”
“I’m sorry, I just read that all our food has been coated in agent orange and could give you cancer and a painful death.”
Then there is the silent one. The little one who simply clings my leg. With small tugs the little one tries to gain my attention. Yet, my eyes are glued. The depressing images of the world keeps dragging me deeper into the darkness. Still, the small tugs keep coming on my pant leg.
Finally, I break my engrossment with the hopeless abyss which is our world today. My eyes are tired and I feel completely drained and frustrated at the falleness of humanity.
And there I see it.
The bright gleaming eyes of my little one. As soon as my eyes meet those hazel eyes a radiant joyful smile breaks across that cute little face. It was then that I finally understood what God had been trying to tell me.
How many times had I ignored God calling me back to Himself? He called me to leave what was *supposed* be a ‘retreat’ and instead had turned into a depressing rollercoaster. He tried through the voices of my children. But, I didn’t even flench. He had to go deeper then the physical. Finally, He resorted to His greatest weapons: silence and joy.
The bleakness of the world is not where He is. He is not in the tirades of celebrities. He is not in the hateful speech splashed around newspapers. He is not in the the anxiety and the tension that bind our minds and hearts to the worries of the future.
Think of it like this: You have a beautiful picture of a wide open meadow nestled in the magnificent valley of the Rocky Mountains. *sigh* That’s better. The air is clear, the picture clear and simple. Beauty is simple enough to raise our spirits to that which is above us. Yet, what happens when we pollute this picture? When we distort the beauty? Every bleak headline is like smearing black paint over our beautiful meadow. After awhile the picture is no longer discernible. What was once clear is no longer visible. The meadow still exists but I can’t see it through the muck.
This is what happens to my hope when I consume the darkness that is out there.
It is when I finally stop and take a look at what is right in front of me that I realize that God has been there the whole time, tugging patiently at my heart. He’s been calling out to me. But I’ve ignored, procrastinated, deflected or just flat out didn’t hear His requests to come out of the mud. Yet, it never fails, whenever I do pull myself away there He is. His silent ever persistent presence is just waiting for my attention. It is there that He brings me joy and it is there that I must dwell, not in the mud of the world.
He always meets us in the silence with comfort and joy.
*Please note this does not mean hiding under a rock or being an uninformed person of the world around us. It is about finding a way to filter the muck and darkness and still maintaining hope and faith that God is in control*