I spent Saturday afternoon writing away from my home office. The first couple of hours I was in the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) where I had a late breakfast; the rest of the afternoon I spent in a very loud, crowded Starbucks. Both of these places were in Buena Park, only a few blocks from Knott’s Berry Farm, where I dropped off Chandler and his friend, Kaitlynn.
With a 45 minute drive each way, it made more sense to stay there rather than waste an hour and a half driving home and back out again a few hours later. Besides, I love writing in restaurants and coffee houses. Had I been at home, I probably would have gone to the local coffee house to write anyway, and that’s four blocks away. There’s something about being surrounded by noisy humanity that helps you focus. I’ve even seen studies that support this.
But the highlight of the day was driving up in front of Knott’s Berry Farm and spotting Chandler and Kaitlynn walking toward me, arm in arm, with Kaitlynn hugging tightly a large stuffed creature and an 8X10 picture — one of those you can buy at the end of a ride capturing you on one of those automatic cameras in a thrilling moment. The two of them were so happy, I would have jumped out of the car and taken a picture right then and there, were it not for the traffic around me. So I took a mental picture instead, and, as you can see, it’s still with me.
As they got in the car all flushed and excited, I found out the stuffed “animal” (we really can’t decide what it is) was a prize Chandler won by shooting a basket on his first try. What joy and good fortune! The atmosphere in my car was brimming with it as they got in from the afternoon together.
The paper this morning greeted me with a heavy dose of unspeakable terrorism that our President accurately termed as acts of “pure evil,” and I couldn’t help but be caught in the glaring contrast with the happy picture I just painted. Both of these are real and true and a part of the world we live in. This does not make the evil any less evil nor happiness any less significant.
It’s nothing new that there is much to see and hear about that is wrong with the world. In any generation and at any age, it has always been this way. But don’t let the attention evil is getting keep you from also focusing on what is good in the world. There is plenty of both good and evil to be had. Without being ignorant or naive, we can emphasize the good, especially when we know that good will ultimately win out over evil and put it away forever. Focus on the evil, and scripture says it will actually find you.
Sometimes we have a tendency to think that empathy is only for that which is sad and unfortunate, but empathy also helps us enjoy what others are enjoying. To see hear and feel what Chandler and Kaitlynn were experiencing this weekend is also an example of empathy. Standing in someone else’s shoes can actually help make your day. I hope it did for you today.
Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it. (Proverbs 11:27)
Did You know …
In addition to the many volunteers, the Catch Ministry’s principal is John Fischer, an ordained minister trained in the Biblical understanding of the prophetic Word, who currently addresses more than 8,000 individuals daily from his expanding Internet cyber community. He is trained in numerous issues of conflict and offers very personal ways to get back to the hope found in the Gospel of Welcome. John is assisted by his wife Marti, a seminary graduate, who addresses the dynamic factors that effect women, the men in their lives, and their children. In addition, she provides to members developed communication strategies to recognize and learn how to counter shame and blame; reinforce positive male images, and to rediscover mutual respect for one another and before the Lord.
My sister Cynthia Vera, introduced me to your online ministry… and it is without a doubt touching so many lives. I have decided to become a team member to help in some way support your ministry.
Click on our good friend McNair Wilson’s video below for an entertaining look into becoming a MemberPartner.
McNair is one of our most recently signed MemberPartners.