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Cooperating with the Good

Saw this quote today:

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to cooperate with the good, that it may prevail. -Helen Keller

I love it. I want to read it over and over and let it really sink down into me, to a place where I would agree wholeheartedly with each word. I even looked up preponderance to make sure I fully understood the word I was pretty sure I knew already. I did. But I had to be sure. I HAD to because I have been feeling so… so…. unsettled lately. I just can’t get started, let alone comfortable with, the fact that so much suffering and pain is happening to people right in my own little circle of friends and loved ones, not to even mention the billions of people everywhere else in the world. I keep trying to ask why its all happening. I tried the fist-shaking “its not fair” gig. Neither of those things seemed to work. I kind of want to be mad at God right now. I have my moments where I’m pretty sure I am. Like Friday night when I got the call that my co-worker died. She died after a long battle with cancer. We knew the call was coming, but it didn’t make it easier. Or like Thursday night when I was texting my friend to ask about how she was doing, and how her daughter was doing with her 2nd chemo treatment. She informed me that her hair was falling out and that it would likely all be gone by the next day, which also happens to be her daughter’s 13th birthday. Nice. Seriously God, what is up with that? Its those moments where I have tried really really hard to be mad at Him. I mean I HATE cancer right now like I’ve never hated it or anything else before. It took a friend from me earlier this year. It took another friend this week and I refuse to think that it will take a young gal who is incredibly wise and mature beyond her years. That’s not happening. Nope.

Today as I stood in the middle of downtown with thousands of other people at the end of Race for the Cure, I listened to Chris Spielman speak encouraging words to the Survivors who were there celebrating their lives, I even wanted to be mad at God that all of them had to go through that craziness. I really did. But at the same time, I knew that wasn’t doable, because all I could think of was that for every one of the Survivors up there, and for every one of the “in memory of…” labels that I saw today, there were probably 5 people that were there just to support, encourage, and celebrate them. So in that crowd, with tears running down my face, I decided to just stop trying to be mad at God for allowing any of the yucky stuff to happen. Instead, I decided to keep being part of the good side–to cooperate with the good, as Helen Keller put it–and to assault evil with acts of kindness and love, because there’s nothing at all that evil can really do about it.  

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. -Romans 12:9

Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good. -Romans 12:21


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