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Hungry for Good News

May 5, 2020 by

After a morning of checking the news, slapping together a "victory garden” in case the economy crashes further, and checking on friends around the world to see how they’re surviving, I poured myself a glass of wine and just sat there trying to peace out.

I try to keep my eyes open for good news, and I tend to find it. There are projects like Brambleberry Farm in Indiana, where people are really doing the permaculture-sustainable thing, not just talking about it; creating a little Garden of Eden where fruit drops from the trees and food “leaps” out of the ground. Then there are reforestation projects in places like Costa Rica, where people are planting and nurturing valuable hardwoods, working to bring back wildlife, providing work in the fields and furniture shops, and putting carbon back in the soil where it belongs.

There are amazing racial reconciliations going on too, which are largely unheralded; for example, Daryl Davis. Most importantly, people are finding inner hope through seeking the spirit. Life is bursting forth and flowering in human hearts everywhere, not because they trust in politics, but rather because they trust in daily forgiveness and encouragement as a gift from God.

Martin Luther King Jr., among others, heralded forgiveness as a constant, a way of life. I have noticed that the reverse is also true: that nursing bitterness in one’s heart unleashes swift and terrible results. Yes, Martin Luther King Jr. is a case in point; people will tell me of his imperfections, and they might be real, but if something rings true from his character, his life, and his speeches, I will adopt it and be encouraged. We have to glean scraps of good news, tidbits of inspiration, nuggets of wisdom like gold miners in the hills of California and learn not to focus too much on scandal.

green plants

Martin Luther, MLK’s namesake, was a courageous German reformer in the 1500s. He said and did amazing things, challenging the institutional church to reform, at the pain of death, but somehow turned sour and so bitter that he is often called the “father of the Nazis.” Do we throw out everything he said and did? Hopefully not.

My father taught me early on to search for nuggets of wisdom and revelations of inner revival in wide circles: in the writings of German theologians, among prisoners, young farmers, rich gentlemen farmers, and social workers.

So look for the bright spots, for the stepping-stones in the onslaught of negativity. Find what gives you peace – the kind of peace that will last forever. World peace may not yet be in sight, but the good news of that inevitable time can live in your heart. In fact, you can be a part of that world here and now, no matter the outward circumstances.

All human progress is to no avail unless we trust God, so look again at the news and see if it isn’t all good news. In life’s turmoil of grief and sadness, or even in times of wealth and success, we find little time to hear God’s voice, but this voice is crucial. He speaks softly, a still, small voice. In every situation He has something to say, and it needs to get through.

Be a piece of good news; let people be amazed at your encouraging, healing presence.

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About the author

Simon Mercer

Simon Mercer

Simon Mercer is a free-thinking Anabaptist, would-be poet who lives at the Maple Ridge Bruderhof.

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