When your heart is broken and your eyes filled with tears, it can be hard to see the glass of wine generously poured and set before you. The wine, figuratively and occasionally literally, that brings laughter, joy, and fun. My mind is continually drawn back to the verse in Psalms 23, He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. He anoints my head with oil. My cup runneth over, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” As I’ve said before, this photo helps me make sense of the good in the midst of evil. (You can buy it in this link.) It helps me appreciate and celebrate after evil claimed the lives of 17 in another school shooting.

I totally understand the friend who said she planned to post fun valentine’s photos, but couldn’t bring herself to do it after the school shooting news. I believe she was 100% right. We should mourn with those who mourn. We shouldn’t not ignore evil, but find a way to overcome it.

It can be easy to get stuck in the right mode of anger and sorrow when evil destroys lives, but if we focus on the evil and the death for too long, we don’t overcome it. We let it win. The evil is there and we must continually war against it. We have a duty to protect the vulnerable from evil and death. But one of our many weapons, is embracing and celebrating the provisions of good we are given, and not ignoring them. We don’t eat the banquet and drink the wine to ignore the evil. We eat the banquet and drink the wine with gratitude and celebration to prepare ourselves to war against and overcome the evil.

Despite hours of weeping last night after Zoya went to sleep because someone who has still not been arrested shot and killed the man who loved me so well, I am learning to see the daily bread blessings as special gifts that we celebrate, and as we celebrate these gifts in life, good wins and evil looses.

Zoya ran in circles around me on the trampoline yesterday, laughing her delightful laugh. Every note of laughter added light to this world, and defeated darkness just a little more.

Ultimately death and darkness will be defeated and the moments of blessing and joy in this world, give us a glimpse of a world to come. Each blessing received is a battle won.


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