Sunday, February 21, 2021

A Thousand Little Victories

I have started my Lent challenge of writing a poem each day. A small devotional booklet produced by Tear Fund is supplying the meditations and the prompts. Writing poetry makes me plumb the depths to find what is being stirred deep inside. There is a truth to be unwound and laid out and words to be searched for to express that truth.

Today’s there was a poem thinking about the moment before creation was spoken into being. Everything was wrapped in potential. And the God who spoke the words into being was aware that good things would unfold, but not so good things too. Along with Along with generosity, there would be greed. Along with smiles and star, and wildflowers, there would be rage and ruin.

I had watched a scrap of the morning news. It’s usually a diet of disasters. The covid-19 numbers might be falling but we are still in lockdown. The engine of a plane bursts into flame. The passengers are safe, but the houses under the flight path of the plane as it headed back to the airport did not come out unscathed.

I am aware that it is bad news that sells. I’m not sure what it is about bad stories that seem to hold our attention. Someone said that we want to hear about the things that go wrong in the lives of the famous because it makes us feel better. We are not flourishing so why should they be?

I was thinking this morning that if I was standing somewhere before the beginning of it all, and the words that were to bring everything into being were on my lips, and if I knew the good, the bad and the ugly of life, would I choose not to speak? Would I look at all that potential suffering and choose to stay silent? If I knew that Adam and Eve were going to choose rebellion and separation from God, and drag creation down with them – would I speak? Is freedom worth the injury that one person inflicts on another?

God said, ‘Let there be…’ – His very clear and distinct, ‘Yes.’  Creation was never mumbled into being.

And with His words, He accepted that it was never going to be an easy journey. Whenever people exercise their freedom there was always a chance that they would choose to do right. What is freedom if you don’t have choices to make. Adam and Eve perhaps squandered the choice they had been given. We live with the consequences of their actions.

 Yes, but so much bad,” I said.

“Yes, but so much good too,” said God. “Your trouble is you have got the proportions all wrong. That diet of news that you read, or watch, makes you think that there is more bad stuff than good. Yes, they tag a good news story, a cat rescued by a fireman, but that’s one small story. There are a thousand little victories every moment of every day that you don’t see. A bird builds an extraordinary nest in a tree. A green shoot pokes up through spring soil. Albie, your great nephew  takes his first steps. A letter from your sister drops through the letterbox. They are not newsworthy but they happen.

A thousand little victories.

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