Friday, December 18, 2015

December 17: Goodness and Piety, Course Evaluations, Annie Dillard, The Goodness of Laughter

God's most common form?  The goodness and piety of others.

These two sentences sort of sum up the entire message of Mr. Ives' Christmas.  In all of his soul-searching, Ives keeps coming back to this one fact:  everyone in the universe (priests, murderers, pastors, prostitutes, nuns, and Republicans) can be a reflection of God's goodness and piety.  There's a little Jesus (or Yahweh or Allah or Buddha) in all of us.

That's the upshot of my message tonight.  We are always surrounded by goodness.  I just read through my course evaluations for this past semester.  They were incredibly generous and positive, even though I don't think I was on my "A" game this semester as a teacher.  I was blessed by really kind and supportive students.

So, my suggestion for everyone tomorrow is to look for the goodness in people (I almost typed "Godness," but it's really the same thing).  You'll be surprised.  When you look for goodness, you will find it at home, work, Walmart, the post office, or DMV.  Everywhere you turn.

I know I've been a little down in my last few posts.  This evening, on my way home, I stopped by the cemetery to visit my sister's grave.  I stood by her stone for a few minutes and talked to her, told her how much I missed her and how much my kids missed her.  As I walked back to my car, a soft snow began to fall.  It was cold and beautiful.  Full of peace.  I felt blessed.

Saint Marty has a lot to be thankful for this Christmas.  He just needs to remind himself that he's surrounded by goodness and angels every moment of his life.

from Teaching a Stone to Talk

by:  Annie Dillard

There are angels in those fields, and, I presume, in all fields, and everywhere else.  I would go to the lions for this conviction, to witness this fact.  What all this means about perception, or language, or angels, or my own sanity, I have no idea.

The Goodness of Laughter...

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