Illness. Violence. War. Destruction. Vanishing lakes. Melting glaciers. Authoritarian rule. With each day we find new reasons to be fearful. To be angry. To sink into despair and hopelessness.
We want to act. We want to do something. Anything. Fight or flight. Make a difference. Make it stop. Make a change. But wisdom says Be still.
I read these powerful words most recently from Christine Margoc, a member of the Spiritual First Thursday group I am fortunate to be a part of. It’s a group that offers perspective and connection and wisdom. Christine offers an inspiring message and the link to a phenomenal sermon by pastor and author Nadia Bolz-Weber. Find Christine’s blog post here.
Christine’s words echo the message I have been given over and over throughout times of turmoil. Be still. Be mindful. Breathe. Pay attention to small miracles. Look for beauty and goodness. Gain perspective.
Why be still when we want to rage and act and shout and run? Because in the stillness, we find a peace that renews the spirit and awakens the soul to a prevailing goodness that is always at work in the world. And this goodness is the source of our hope.
This goodness is in libraries, where my grandchildren went to story time and then called to excitedly share with me about their experience and the books they checked out.
This goodness is in local businesses where there is warmth and beauty, where owners and customers chat and share and laugh together.
This goodness is in gardens, where we are reminded that new life germinates beneath seemingly desolate soil, and by the time we see its beauty, the work that brought it to life has already been done.
This goodness is in the song of a bird, in the appearance of a rainbow, in the movement of the very air we breathe. It’s in the laughter of a friend, in the sharing of a meal, and in the holding of a hand.
And once we stop to drink in this goodness, we find ourselves renewed and able to act upon it. Not out of despair, but out of hope. And that brings me to a wonderful initiative that seeks to inspire the hope and peace and beauty and change that we so desperately need.
This national movement that has come to life on social media is inspiring "flash mob artivism." It’s a project of Artists For Peace, a grassroots coalition of artists that formed in response to the Uvalde tragedy. Read about it here.
They are asking artists – from children to hobbyists to professionals – to create wing-themed art and share it with their communities over a four-month period. The wings should be displayed at night on the 23rd of each month, so that on the 24th, communities everywhere awaken to a flood of beauty and goodness and hope that will lead to change.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10. Be still. And know.
After being still, I am restored in knowing that libraries provide goodness in the form of books. That seeds sprout and flowers bloom. That birds sing and people laugh together. That meals and love are shared. That artists will sneak out into the night of the 23rd so that we all may awaken to wings for peace on the 24th.
There is goodness in this world. Be still. Find it. And then become a part of it.
Remember, to join the Wings4Peace movement, click here!