There are deep truths that I lean on when I get weary. Phrases I repeat back to my soul when the tank has run dry. I want to share those with you again.
Everything God made is good, and Everything is connected.
In Genesis, where we hear that phrase echoed after every time God created something. When we look at the entire creation story from Genesis 1, we see Creator creating and celebrating. “Look what we’ve made!” they exclaim as they create water, land, day, night, sun, moon, stars, birds, fish, animals, and humans. And then they say “it is good.”
Lisa Sharon Harper is an author and activist. She is the teacher that helped me through a dark season when I couldn’t see any good anywhere in the world. In her book, The Very Good Gospel, she unpacks the Hebrew word for good. Lisa, after having her own journey through the dark, spent her time unpacking Genesis, looking for God’s goodness for all people. She is one of the voices that help guide me to see Christ in all things. She also taught me that you have to stick through something to see the good. The hard truths and losses aren’t meant to be hidden. And that God’s plan for original blessing over creation deserves our attention and thoughtfulness.
Lisa Sharon Harper says in her book, The Very Good Gospel,
“Tov is the Hebrew word for “good” but the word does not refer only to the goodness of the object itself; it also refers to the ties between things. In the Hebrew conception of the world, all creation is connected. The well-being of the whole depends on the well-being of the individual part.
All things being connected means that when power and privilege are unbalanced, we go to work dismantling the systems that keep one group powering over another. We don’t hide behind our privilege in order to protect ourselves. We listen to the voices on the margins, we get low, we adopt an attitude of humility, and we do our work.
Being connected means we know loss, we grieve together, We also learn and grow from our elders and teachers.
We taste the bitterness of rejection when we are connected. But, instead of letting that rejection lead us to bitterness, we let whatever truth might be in the loss, soften us, and expand our endurance to do hard work, well.
Goodness is in the long journey. It is in every step you take to help your child learn their times tables. It’s in your choked-up voice as you tell the truth. God’s goodness is with you in your loneliness. God doesn’t run from us. God runs to us. Connecting us so that we can flourish together. God shines the light on the dark places, not to shame and belittle us, but so that we can see. These are times that God is right here with us. I encourage you to look for the goodness happening between things. Share them out loud with your housemates. Write them down as a reminder on days where you can’t see the good.
Everything God made is good. And all things are connected.
Peace to you, friends!