Startled by my unexpected comment, the woman stared at me like I had just sprouted horns.
Let me explain.
While my daughter was home from her overseas ministry, we had driven to another town one evening so she could speak at a small group. Now, my daughter is a little firecracker. She had that group so fired up about all the good things God is doing overseas, I thought the room would explode. Afterward, there was food and a time to visit. As we were enjoying each other’s company, someone mentioned an incident on the news. Immediately, life was sucked out of the room. Everyone ended up hanging their heads, mumbling, “What is this world coming to?”
So two murders occurred that day. One person lost their physical life, another whole group lost their spirit. Can you guess who benefits when people lose their spirit?
But when we take charge of the binoculars, we see something very different. (See “Those Tricky Binoculars” for context)
At last count, the population of the town we visited is 108,054. According to Neighborhood Scout crime analytics, violent crimes for that town per day are 0-1. We happened to visit on a day when there was one. And our hearts go out to anyone who is hurt or loses their life. We want it to be zero EVERY day!
However, that also means that more than 100,000 people were not hurt that day. That’s what we’re not being told on the news. Yet, it’s so very good. And totally huge. Even allowing for car accidents and other injuries, more than 100,000 people still made it home safe and sound. That’s a whole lot of people. That’s a whole lot of good news. And that’s just in one town. Over 100,000 people pulled up in their car or got off the bus or bike or out of an Uber, put a key in their front door and had another opportunity—if they were wise enough to take it—to appreciate and enjoy their loved ones for another evening.
As street lights flickered on, practically everyone in town had another chance to have dinner with their family, to help children with homework, to watch their favorite show and maybe even squeeze in a few bedtime stories with the little ones. Or perhaps they live alone and were greeted by their pet and the wonderful sound of silence. But either way, and however they spent their time, they were safely home.
And that’s the idea I was attempting to convey to the lady that evening. But these new thoughts really seemed to rock her boat. Confused, she reached for something familiar to steady herself. She reached for negativity.
“Well, they may have made it home safe, but I’m sure they didn’t read to their children. Families are falling apart nowadays.” (My next blog post!)
To refute good news, she reached for the type of regurgitated, rehashed rhetoric she hears every day. And her world stopped spinning. Any thoughts on who benefits when good news serves to shock our system and negativity becomes the norm for reestablishing equilibrium? Any idea who might be interested in orchestrating such an appalling set-up?
But even that doesn’t change the gigantic piece of goodness staring us all in the face right now. And incidentally, we’re supposed to live in the right now—not in what could be, might be or even what will be. We can be interested in and study about Armageddon, but we’re not supposed to live there. It’s not our home. We’re supposed to live exactly where God has put us.
And right now, where we live in towns and cities across America, the truth is that more people make it home safe than those who don’t. Many times more. Thousands upon thousands of them. And as you’re reading this, you’re one of them. You’re part of the vast majority who made it home alive and well.
So as you make your way back out into the world today or tomorrow, look people in the eye. They made it too! Smile and say, “Good morning!” Because that’s exactly what it is. In just one town, it’s 100,000 to one, in favor of good. That’s huge.
Let’s roar that one little piece of massive goodness from the rooftops—and drown out all the unhelpful negative noise. In this case, the .001% of bad news the media insists on focusing our attention on.
Nope. That’s just not good enough to keep my attention.