Clinging to Goodness: May It Be So

“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.” Romans 12:9

On the first night of the 2017 World Series, watching Clayton Kershaw pitch, I said, “Oh my goodness.”

I thought, in a second moment, oh. my. Goodness.

What is Goodness? Is it culturally inflected? Does it depend on “good for me and my kind”? Is it an abstract for all creatures? How on earth do I know what is good for all creation?

Good. On a report card, that falls between satisfactory and excellent.  I think that may be a mistake. It seems, in a way that I am not yet able to articulate, that this scale is as misguided as the Light versus Dark spectrum. After reading both Phillip Newell and Barbara Brown Taylor, I am aware that Light/Dark and Sight/Blind are a terrible injustice. The Scripture speaks of the Evil One/the Devil/the Tempter as the Prince of Darkness. Of people who do not understand Jesus as blind. What an indictment of sightless people!! They are not to blame for blindness. How did we get off the track here?

I remember days, long ago, when I was caving in “wild caves” in Arkansas. We would stop once or twice to experience total darkness. It was a sensory experience, beyond what I can find the words for: not evil/not to be feared, palpable, had a quality of texture. I think that total silence might be like that, but I do not know.

We, the household to which I belong of the Christian tradition, should think carefully about how we use words.  How we “other” those who do not fit the mold of most of the people in the world. What an injustice to call the sightless ignorant or malignant or evil.

May I learn to see all people and all creatures, with my eyes and my heart, that I may offer blessings and so be blessed.



Here’s a prayer for today: Holy One, allow us to experience the texture of Your Goodness. Help us to sense Your Goodness in one another and in all of creation. Amen.


Today’s devotional comes from Immanuel member Martha Whitney.