I’m sure you’ve all heard it said, as have I, that there is beauty in the midst of ugliness. I heard that statement this week and it seemed like an insincere declaration. An effort to force people to see the bright side of a day that began in darkness and ended the same way. And maybe that’s what we humans do to cope. We try to put a pretty bow on an abysmal monster to help soothe our souls. But there really is beauty that came as a result of Monday’s darkness. Maybe it wasn’t noticeable right away. But later. After the winds stopped battering the ground and the clouds ceased their oppressive hovering. After the sun exposed the worst of the destruction. It was then we were granted a hint of the loveliness that lives in the deepest recesses of the human capacity to see each other through disaster.
During the past week, we (I, along with so many others who have been scrambling to make sense of what seems completely senseless) have seen marvelous things. I’ve been struck speechless by the generosity of others. I’ve felt my mouth hang open in awe of the compassion that has been inspired in individuals all over the nation and around the world. I’ve been shamed by the strength of character I’ve witnessed in parents who lost everything “...except for what is most important.” I’ve been shamed more by parents who lost... everything.
There is beauty in the ugliness. Where there has been apathy, there is now a concern for others. Where there has been avoidance or ignorance, there is an unmistakable zeal to improve the welfare of a fellow human. This renewed sensibility might fade over the coming weeks as we grow farther from the horrors of this past Monday, but let’s pause to absorb it right now.
We’ve become aware of one another. And not just we as people, although that has happened, but also we as the Church. We, as the Body of Christ, have come together to effect healing in our cities - physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. And incredibly enough, no one is looking for personal credit. The common hope of all these churches laboring in this combined effort is to lift the heads of the downtrodden so they can look to Jesus.
Because He is the true beauty in the midst. He doesn’t minimize the pain of the storm or seek to distract us from it; He helps us through it by giving us something firm to grasp onto. He is Love, demonstrated through the ongoing and selfless service of His Church. His children.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
Visit this site frequently over the coming days and weeks. We will be sharing stories that will inspire you, uplift you, and - we hope - turn your eyes to Christ. If you are part of the story, lift your eyes to the hills. The One who made the heaven and earth is your help.