Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Working for Good

 It’s been a heavy time recently. The upsurge in Covid cases and the fatigue of medical workers, the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, Haiti’s earthquake, and tropical storm systems, and more events that are probably coming to your mind as you read this. It is easy to get swept away in the heaviness. There is much that isn’t right in the world.

Add to all of this, it’s my week to prepare a Sunday school lesson, and we’re in the midst of a month-long study of Job. Oh joy. I am tasked to teach about despair, about what we do when God is unresponsive.

All of this was on my mind this morning as I headed outside for my walk. I stopped to watch a

vivid sunrise and remembered the morning prayer I often recite, one that begins with these words: 

New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world.

Yes. All day long God is working for good in the world, but to see it, I have to change the way I look at things. I have to go from macro to micro, from the broad sweep of news stories to the particular—the individuals who are making a difference in many small ways.

As I neared home, I passed two homeless men in a park near my apartment. I spoke and they responded, and we had a brief conversation. One of them said, “I’m blessed,” and once again the words of my morning prayer came to mind: All day long you are working for good in the world.

I saw the man’s perspective. He is alive, he was sharing conversation with his friend, and he was enjoying a morning of pleasant weather.

I came home and read an email from an organization* I support that is active in Afghanistan. They are still there, providing care and community to the Afghan people. Their work goes on, in small yet significant ways, though they’ll never draw the attention of news outlets. They are a light shining in difficulty, and they aren’t the only light shining in Afghanistan. When I support their work, my small gift adds to the light.

It is right to lament the evil and devastation we see in the world. But we also must look past the surface and recognize that, even when it is hard to see, God is working for good in the world. Rather than wringing my hands in hopeless despair, my work is to do the small things that show faith: to speak a word of kindness, to support those on the front lines in difficult places, to be a bearer of light however I can. If we all do that, the love of God is made new every morning.


 *If you are interested in supporting the Afghan people, here is a link to the organization I mentioned.