Made for Goodness: Part 2

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I purchased a new printer (the old one and I had a fist fight), wrote 7 apology letters (I had a disruptive, highly emotional outburst at work), and got a refill on the Lexapro (I need help).

Divorce recovery recovery.

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A fruit of the spirit is goodness.

Sometimes it can feel like we are made for nothing but trouble.

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Lexapro is a brand name for ….. “Escitalopram is used to treat depression and anxiety. It works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (serotonin) in the brain. Escitalopram belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). It may improve your energy level and feelings of well-being and decrease nervousness.”

It has served me well these last few weeks.  I explained to my doctor, “I am going through circumstances that seem too much.”  I told my friend, “I just want my mind to shut off.”  She said, “Yeah, I know how that feels.”

It has served me well, and…..it might also be debilitating my desire …to write,…. to other things.  For me….I don’t want to always be on Lexapro….but for now, I am thankful for the option.

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Sometimes it can feel like we are made for nothing but trouble.

But Desmond and Mpho Tutu remind us we are made for goodness.

In the final chapter of their book, “Made for Goodness”…the last chapter titled ‘Seeing With God’s Eyes”…they write…

  • Even if no sister squealed her delight at your birth, even if no parent ran to proclaim the joyful news, God’s love preceded you into your life.  You drew in God’s acceptance with your first breath.  Accepting God’s acceptance is what allows us to live out our own godliness.  It is what helps us to live into our own goodness.
  • The path to self-acceptance doesn’t have to be as challenging as the one that Dominque (Dominque Green) traveled.  The peace that is the fruit of self-acceptance is within every person’s reach.  Prayers and affirmations can mark the way. Meditation and mindfulness can help us to cultivate the habit of self-acceptance.
  • I know that forgiveness is hard work.  Sometimes it may even feel like an impossible task.  We cannot will it into being.  We may be disposed to offer it but find our hearts as yet unready.  Holding on to hurt and anger is burdensome.  The pain of an insult takes up psychic space; it occupies territory that could be inhabited by joy.
  • God does dwell in us.  This is the essential truth of who we are.  We are creatures made in the image of God.  At the core of our being is goodness.  This is not to deny the reality of sin.  Sin is real.  Depravity and cruelty are real.  Evil exists.  But sin, cruelty, and evil are not our essential nature.  They are aberrations.  What is normative is goodness.  Wrongness runs against the grain of creation.  Evil is so contrary to our nature that we must construct justification to allow ourselves to do what we know to be wrong or cruel.
  • In God’s vision, sin is not the essential and foundational truth about us.  Goodness is. We are not originally sinners, distant from God.  We are originally the crowning achievement of creation.  We are those created in the image and likeness of God.  We are created out of the abundance of God’s love.  We are created for God’s joy.  And we have choices.  The choices we make sometimes lead us away from God.

 

Desmond and Mpho Tutu make the case that we were each made for goodness,….

I hear your call as you are falling.

You stumble over your own wrongdoing and topple into the

                Bottomless pit of guilt and shame.

But there is no abyss.  It is an illusion.

There is no depth to which you can fall that is beyond my reach.

I have lived with you from the age of the ages.

The dream of you has delighted me, the fact of you pleases me.

There is a choice in every moment.

In every moment there is a chance to flourish and not to fail.

Every instant is rich with possibility.

I have not carved out the path that you must follow, we form the way

                together, you and I.

I have destined you for good and a field of goodness lies before you.

Listen to me, and though the way may not be easy, every step and

                stone will lead to joy.

Turn aside to heed the voice of the tempter and faltering will mark

                your journey.

I trust you, my child.

Even when you have fallen the road does not end.

You can rise up from the ground and turn around.

You can repent and head for your home in me.

Seek me out.

You will find me.

I have been here from eternity.

Until eternity this is where I will be.

I am waiting and you will find me.

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At the beginning of creation God said it was good.  Genesis, Chapter 1.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.