Paradise

The world is broken. The evidence is never far away, even in a place the world calls “paradise.”

Newspapers report senseless terrorist attacks and political mess. The homeless stand on corners with cardboard signs reading “anything helps,” and light posts become the walls of makeshift shelters.  The sick come knocking. Mothers loose their daughters. Doctors don’t have answers. Phone screens light up with messages we never wanted to hear. Tears fall.

Often times, the outside concrete evidence isn’t even needed. The brokenness inside ourselves is evidence enough. Fears of the future encapsulate. Insecurities overwhelm. Dreams wake us up at night seeming all too real. We realize this life is fragile.

But there is hope, and there is joy. There is peace, and there is unending love.

There’s evidence for all of it too.

The sun rises and sets. A monarch butterfly flutters across my path. Laughter spills out for the first time in far too long. Encouraging words come at just the right time. We hold onto each other in the moments when all seems lost.

A seventh grader with wisdom beyond her years tells me, “It [the resurrection] means we don’t have to despair.” An eighty-four year-old woman, whose life could be a movie, reminds that redemption means “we don’t have to be afraid.”

Brokenness is overcome by eternal glory giving the strength to sing, “it is well with my soul” for Paradise is yet to come.

Psalm 121 NIV

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

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