In an election year, there is a flood of voices telling us what is wrong with our community, our country, and our world. Those running for office make us feel anxious about the problems then tell us they alone have the solution. If we vote for them the problems go away. Here’s what I observe: every two years I vote for someone who promises to solve my problems and the world’s problems, yet we still have problems. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
This is why we need to pause, and discover the hidden stories, the stories of what is right in the world. These are the stories of God’s good grace. They are all around us, if we slow down, notice and think.
So what’s right in this world?
- Debbie, a follower of Jesus and a teacher, praying over the chairs in her classroom every day before school.
- Warm pimento cheese dip with hot, homemade potato chips.
- Dan driving a friend to pick up his truck from the shop.
- The movie, “The Secret Life of Pets.”
- Allen collecting school supplies at his business so teachers can have one less thing to be stressed about.
- To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Jody coaching girls softball, though his own children are grown and gone.
- Watching the mallards land on the pond.
- Jackie bringing her new neighbors some fresh okra.
- Black-eyed Susans in bloom.
- Zach, who asks the deep, uncomfortable questions everyone else is thinking, but no one else is courageous enough to ask.
- Two people who went through painful divorces finding each other at church, falling in love, and waiting for marriage before becoming intimate.
- Dogs that want to be scratched behind the ears.
- Rhett, fresh out of college, barely making ends meet, bringing an Ozark Mountain Cup to a friend because it has the logo of his favorite college team on it.
- A ninety year-old man who is reading through the Bible because he wants to do it before he dies.
- Seeing a child who used to do sleepovers at your house answer God’s call to ministry.
- Jessica and Aaron who patiently wait while Mom and Dad have an adult conversation with another grown up.
- The couple that’s been married 60 years holding hands.
- Kate, sixteen, asking her small group to pray for her to find her purpose.
- Kisses from a two year old.
- Field peas, simmered in fatback for two hours.
- The random text from your 20 something daughter telling you she loves you.
There are two kinds of grace: Saving grace, the gift of God through Jesus that saves us from our sins; and common grace, grace given to everyone in the world, given simply because God is good. He blesses us with people who make us smile and grace signs that He made the world to be good, and good can still be found.
Keep your eyes open for what is right.