Today, my friend was telling me about an incident that occurred during her sophomore year in the university. Prior to her narration, I had asked this question, “Has there ever been a time you lent a helping hand to someone you didn’t know personally? Maybe a stranger who was lost or something…something you can remember?” She managed to salvage one she could describe properly after some minutes of digging through her ‘mental junkyard’.
According to her, she had bumped into this woman and her son as she descended the staircase to go retrieve some items dad had sent from home. “You could simply tell,” she said, “they were in a fix and needed someone to talk to, just anyone who would readily help”. She didn’t know them personally but she still made time for them, realized what they both needed and immediately responded and brought help to them. In the process of thanking her for her assistance, the little boy suddenly goes on his knees to narrate how he had unfortunately dropped out of school due to his father’s unwillingness to pay his tuition fees. This part really intrigued me: my lady friend reached out to help this lad with the little money she had despite the fact that she didn’t have enough for herself in the first place. What interests me the most is that she didn’t even pause for a moment to verify the credibility of the message she had received from the little boy. Were they confident tricksters? She had no obvious connection with them but all of a sudden she desired to show love and care.
Is there a need to hope for beauty, justice, peace or anything “good” if nothing exists beyond mere survival? Is it in vain to live at all if death marks the closing chapter of life’s tale? Are we blips of light that last but for a brief moment? Is it worthwhile to seek meaning for the deep longing within us? Does it matter at all?
We yearn to know the answers to the big questions in life. Many may conclude by saying that the meaning to these questions are far too profound to know and possibly understand. In response to that, they try to suppress those strong feelings of asking the “WHY” questions, possibly lock them up in chains far beneath the depth of their hearts and minds with the seemingly comforting thought that meaning needn’t be attributed to it. What we fail to realize is truth is not a smoldering wick that can be snuffed out so easily. It is not a malleable product that can be beaten into different shapes as we so desire; it is firm and absolute; unchangeable and unhidden. Try to submerge it in deep waters and it will resurface with some strong upward thrust.
We want to (more like we ought to) see things done in the right manner—the Real Right manner. It’s as though we measure up our thoughts and actions against a certain objective, independent standard rule. If you tell me my shirt is dirty, you probably have an idea of what it means to be clean. In the same manner, I can use the word “sweet” if I understand the word “bitter”. Though there may be modifiers to describe the level of intensity of the word in question, the underlying fact is they both submit to a standard rule, which imparts meaning and usefulness into their very wordings.
Whenever we are faced with a ‘to help or not to help’ situation, there always lie these options: 1) Do something about it. 2) Just don’t interfere. 3) You have to do something about it. Don’t confuse the first with the third option. The first one describes a wish to offer help and this is different from the third option, which says it is a must to offer help even if it is against your personal desires. As human as we are, we are highly susceptible to selfishness however you will quickly agree with me that society (as diverse as it could be) frowns on it. We are encouraged to think on selflessness, the need to put others first before self. We may call it “cruel” or “heartless” when a youngster refuses to give up his seat for the elderly woman in a public bus. We go on demonstration brandishing placards with the slogan ‘WE WANT PEACE’ in warring nations. We pass indignant remarks when the headlines read “13YEAR OLD GIRL RAPED AND MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD”. We expect a certain kind of behavior from people around us. We don’t need special tutorials to discern properly, that which is right from wrong, good from evil, beautiful from ugly, at least when you are still sane up there *pointing to the small/big head*. And yes, it may seem like an unfinished work but the bits and pieces of our actions and speech when put together point to the evidence of the kind of life expected to be lived by the human race.
The writer of Genesis lays down a very notable pattern of repetitive language in his description of creation. “Then GOD said…and GOD saw that it was good” appears seven times (I smell the scent of “completeness and perfection” here) in the first Chapter of the book of Genesis to emphasize strongly the perfect suitability and pleasantness of God’s work for the would-be inhabitants. Attempt to picture this reality. You will surely miss a lot of details and fine tunings. If all your life, the only colors you were accustomed to were black and white, it would be virtually impossible to imagine colors like red, yellow, blue, orange and any other colors you could possibly think of. That is what I meant about missing a lot of details and find tunings; our mental view about the perfect suitability and pleasantness of God’s work is just purely sympathetic. Our minds lack the capacity to envision the kind of good that was designed in the beginning. We don’t see things clearly yet, as we were made to behold. We’re still squinting in a fog, peering through a mist in this fractured creation (1 Corinthians 13:12 MSG).
This good, the original, unadulterated good we long to see will cease to be a figment of our imaginations very soon. Pain will become history. Evil will be tossed away into the flames never to be remembered. Jesus Himself has promised that whosoever puts their trust in Him will live forever not to only catch a glimpse of the magnificence that awaits him; he actually becomes a partaker of that divine sweetness that will forever hold him spellbound in the heavenly realms, where God Himself resides. When we behold His glory, all knees shall humbly press to the heavenly grounds and out of every mouth shall exclaim, “Oh Lord of the heavens, you who stand in unfathomable beauty, be blessing and glory and honor and power, forever!” I tell you, it’s just a matter of time. You will see.