Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Pilgrim Road Blog Photo

Sunday, October 26, 2014

31 Days of Courage: Courage In A Time Of Ebola And Beheadings

These times we're living in, they could get a girl down in the dumps.

But really, it's been ever thus.  Every age has its nightmares.

Finding the good in this jumbled up world - finding beauty, that's an inside job.  There will always be pressures, obstacles and darkness to oppose the human race.  It started at the Fall.  It will end at the Return.

It will take a tough mental and spiritual courage to experience a world of school shootings, Ebola and televised beheadings, and still stand and find joy in the marred, but unmistakeable beauty of the original.  It will take determination to accept the reality of the shipwreck, but still give thanks for the island, with it's provisions of blue sky, coconuts and most of all, the other folks who are the greatest gifts of all.

There's a scripture that is so simple, and so profound, that says succinctly what I can't express in a thousand words:

"Where sin did abound, grace did more abound."  Romans 5:20

Yesterday at my nephew's 3rd birthday party, several grown ups (including my husband of course), spent an hour with a 5 year old goofing around with a huge balloon in the shape of the number 3.  Every body got yoked into that balloon, cracking up, turned every which way, pictures taken, nuttiness in all its glory.

Where sin did abound, grace did more abound.

On the way home through the Berkshires, the 6 o'clock sky was streaked with a blending of colors no painter could produce with the most state-of-the-art palette ever manufactured.  A tiny sliver of moon looked like what Smitty describe as a little "crack in the sky".  I couldn't even absorb the whole beauty of it as we crossed those gentle mountains.

Where sin did abound, grace did more abound.

When we stepped out of the car (which took us 90 miles in an hour and a half), the smell of fall in upstate New York wafted subtle into our noses, leaves that blessed us with shade all summer now blessing again with the fragrance of autumn.

Where sin did abound, grace did more abound.

Grace, grace, grace everywhere.  But I miss it every day.  It takes a little pulling up of the suspenders of courage to stand up against cynicism and to hunt for and embrace good.  And it takes that same courage to slow down enough from the ridiculous pace of this rat race to witness the wonders that are his merciful gifts to us in a world of Ebola, beheadings and every other ill the shipwreck brought with it.

Take a rest on this Sabbath. Bravely lay down the complaints and the cynicism, and be counter cultural.  Abound in all the grace.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


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