Rust or Moth Cannot Destroy

There is Abundant Goodness to be had in the land of the living.
Is there now?
I question.
My heart weeps. Whispers a plea.
The world we live in, our beautiful world. News. Campaigns. Conflicts.
Circumstances, opinions, viewpoints become implied license for offense, malice, hurt, entitlement, pride, blame, accusations, hate.
These unappeasable beasts parade around swallowing goodness, light, love.
 A black hole, rendering us blind, deaf and mute to one another.
People. My Loved ones. Captives. Lost amidst the large shadows cast this time of year.  Seeing but not seeing, hearing but not listening, talking but not communicating. Together but so very far apart. Flesh and blood  become ‘one of them’. Opposed. Right or Left?
My heart hurts.
 How?  Is there anything that can heal this growing, vast rift that is rending?
I’m so small, feel helpless amidst this raging storm. In it’s shadow, any thought of action seems as futile as trying to hold back the tide with my bare hands. It can’t be done.
“We would rather live, we would rather have life. We would rather love and chose love.  Ignorance is not bliss. We see the hurt, we see the pain, we see the disease of the world….” 
 What is happening to people? What is happening amidst these that are so dearly loved? Why are we experiencing each other this way?  If only hearts knew, knew how precious and loved they are! If only they knew how loved also their neighbor is! 
Would we be able to treat one another this way??? 
Has the darkness grown larger than the Love we know? 
Has it?
“Ya gotta have faith…
One day the people will say, we don’t need to fight no more.  Away with the hate we are done with the war…” 

I need to grasp some true.  I need to hold something real. What do I do?

“Fall to my knees, hands to the sky, repent  every sin, 
Shed•Every•Lie…”  
How can I Shed the lies?
How can I let back in some light?
Remember. Give thanks. Choose. 
There is so much to give thanks for, even as the beasts rage.
Sometimes, that’s hard to see.
Sometimes, it’s just easier to let the tears flow, to hold the hurt and hopelessness.
But take courage today.
Look around and claim a little of the goodness still left in our world.
Let’s start today, ’cause today is what we have.
Begin with simple, little things;
Maybe they’ll grow.
“We believe in the image of men and women, holding hands walking towards the gates of heaven…
…here we come new Jerusalem…”
I’m thankful to be with people  who bring light and love and compassion to the world.
I’m thankful for people who call out the treasures  in those around them.
Who go to great lengths giving time, resources, energy, themselves, empowering, helping one another to greater heights.
Thankful for safe places to fail forward and  discover deeper.
I’m thankful I have permission to not be perfect and that in my imperfections my value remains.
I’m thankful that I am who I am, and that is not in vain.  I’m known.  I’m loved.
I’m thankful that though I don’t drive a fancy car, own a home, or have much in my bank account, I’m rich with treasure that rust or moth cannot destroy. 
I’m thankful for people who are using their gifts,  their talents, their creativity.
I’m thankful for those around me who live simple, everyday hardworking lives, faithfully tending.
I’m thankful for courage to smile.
I’m thankful for these people, who are reclaiming hope, joy and peace.
Thankful to get to witness my friends succeed, taking hold of their dreams.
 I’m thankful for the gift of seeing them receive.
I’m thankful to live amidst people, who do not fear to touch the darkness, the broken, the hurting.
I’m thankful to live among powerful, humble, gentle, men and women.
I’m thankful that they love with the love with which they have been loved.
“..gotta see the beauty, my love yeah, the beauty of the earth … the beauty of the people…”
I’m thankful there is so much more to learn. Thankful for community that draws out parts of me I don’t know or can’t see yet.
Thankful for people who believe in me when I don’t know how to believe myself.
Thankful for these people, the songs they sing, in music and in life.
  —
Thankful For Family dinner, nerf gun battles, conversations, bowls of chili, cold brews, indoor spike ball, fires in the fireplace, new acquaintances, familiar friends,  peanut-butter pretzel goodness, spontaneous dance parties, spur-of-the-moment concerts, fits of laughter, making memories.
I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see His Abundant Goodness 
In the land of the living…
Be strong. Let your heart take courage…”
This Love we know, it’s Bigger. There’s more to be had.  This storm shall pass. The sun will rise.  The Shakeable will shake.  The Unshakeable remains.
I’m thankful New Jerusalem isn’t just for later. It’s here. It’s now. Tangible.
We possess it, can even invite others into it.
Today.  Let’s take hold of it
Today. In the shadow of the rising storm, can I choose? Exercise my rights? 
 There’s much I don’t control. I’m just me.
But a few things, I will choose.
I can choose to not feed the beasts.
In what I touch, encounters with people, the way I speak, Here. Now.
I will choose. My Reaction. My Response. Compassion. To Be loved. To love.
Joy. Peace…”things of good eternity”
What flows out of me?
Influence. Small, Everyday Choices.
“Winning the battle. Right now.  Love♡Prevails.”
Blog Post By
Maranda Shively

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