Published on Oct 7th, 2015 by wpd-office | 0

Witness the grandeur of the mountains! They soar and sing their song of magnificence! Stand under a waterfall! It splashes the wonder of God onto your waiting skin! Listen to the quiet or the crashing tones of a symphony orchestra! Somehow, some way, the music takes one to places of new joy, new insight, new comfort, new challenge! Examine a tiny violet hiding in a tangle of leaves almost unnoticed! The infinitesimal perfection of this minuscule plant takes one’s breath away! Open oneself to the wideness of an October sky, bluer than blue and set off by the golds and oranges and yellows and browns of autumn! One can feel that all is right with the world! Be in our homes in an evening, and the comfort of it is a blanket of love and rightness surrounding us! Sit in a room of college students, all intent on the subject at hand, and feel the wonder of learning that goes with us, from our first look at the world to our dying day, when we learn what eternity really is! God is so close and near in these times, that we can scarcely take it in. Our hearts feel full to bursting with the glory of it all!

Oh, but come with me to other places in the world. Come with me to Haiti right after the earthquake, when people had no shelter and no place to go, and their wounds cried for tending. Come with me to Syria, where families huddle in the ruins of what was once their homes, and try to exist on other people’s garbage. Come with me to Afghanistan where girls are still afraid to attend school in some places, and have to remain hidden in families in which they are but slaves from morning to night. Come with me to India, where young wives have acid thrown at them to disfigure them so that no one will want them. Come with me to the Greek island of Lesbos where thousands of refugees wash up on the shore, even ones that have drowned on the trip. Come with me to Nigeria where 200 school girls were kidnapped and have never been found, and where families are torn from burned villages, pastors and friends are killed, and where churches are burned wholesale. Come with me to Honduras in which gang violence is so rampant that young people make the horrendously hazardous trip to United States, knowing what the risk is that they might be returned. If our hearts were full to bursting with joy in the glory of times where God seemed so present, what are our hearts feeling now? Where is God is the good times and the horrid times?

When things are going well, we feel God, and we do not want to contrast these glorious times with all the pain and sorrow of the world. When we witness the awful things that happen in the world, we feel as if God is at least silent and maybe even not there at all. And yet, both of these times are part and parcel of our world and, if the truth be told, are a part of us, too. We have beheld the wonder of creation and been moved to tears. And we have beheld the awful pain and injustice and horror of our world, and we have been moved to tears, too, or at least I hope so!

I would like to suggest that, in all times of our lives, good or not good, God is there. When all is going well, God is giving us the gift of wonder and grandeur. When we see that which is terrible and horrible, God is giving us the gift of compassion for our fellow human beings. And we pray for some of each for each and every person in the world. Every person needs grandeur and glory, and every person needs humble compassion. So as I sit today, writing this to you, I do not begrudge your wonderful times! Enjoy them! Savor them!  However, let the wonderful times make you more than ever ready to do what you can for our brothers and sisters who are not so fortunate the world over. Let compassion for them rule your hearts. Bring food and clothing to the hungry and hurting. Give money if you can do that. Write letters. If you are able, go to the places where people need the love and care you have to give. Speak out for justice and opportunities for all. Find a place in which you feel God has called you to be a bearer of light and life. Because God knows there are so many, many of them. And to everyone’s wonder and amazement, serving may bring as much joy and glory and wonder as the mountains or home or the blue October skies or a tiny violet!

The writer of Ecclesiastes says that there is a time for everything under the sun.  Indeed there is!

Sonja signature00025



Sonja Griffith,
District Executive Minister

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