I don't know about you, but the evil events of last week in Boston have saddened my spirits. Yet, rather than give way to melancholy, I am trying to focus on the good.
Floating around the blogosphere is the quote from Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping'."
Such advice is helpful. It follows one of my favorite verses in the New Testament: "Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about...and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8,9 The Living Bible).
Following this advice. I listen to the birds singing their "cheer-up" song, and notice the flowers nodding their hello to spring. I look for lovely things like the palest of pink tulips around the lamp post in our backyard.
These pink and white double-petal tulips are so pretty, lifting their faces heavenward, attesting to beauty on earth, gifts from above.
How can I stay sad when from our front yard, we look across the road to the greening grass, then across the river to trees in their hint-of-green lace negligees?
Furthermore, I can see good within the human spirit. Rather than destroy, mankind has been cultivating beauty since Eden. Two weeks ago the Amish farmer across the road spread organic fertilizer on the dark soil. And already the field beyond the hedgerow is greening. Can you see his house and barn at the crest of the hill? There it is on the horizon; I only need to look up.
Indeed, all around are evidences of God's sustaining goodness, proofs of new life, and examples of human helpers who work to restore order where there is chaos.
As doctors and nurses in Boston work to heal the wounded, Penn DOT workers here in Lancaster work to replace the huge wooden, road-surface planks on our covered bridge. They also substitute fresh wood siding on the bridge after vandals busted holes and sprayed graffiti on the walls.
Another helper, a gardener, placed bulbs in the earth last fall, so daffodils and jonquils would bloom in the spring.
Good neighbors planted a redbud tree, just so everyone could revel in the dainty purple beauty.
Won't you join me in dispelling the lingering shadows left from last week's terrorism. Take note of the sunlight igniting the forsythia bushes near you, and let the beauty of springtime chase away the lingering shadows in your heart.