The Hopeful Answer
By Marie Morrow
Hate is so loud, and so easily gets our attention. It is amplified and surrounds us, overwhelming our senses. Looking at the news, it was all I could see, and I despaired at the state of our world.
Yet for every single act of evil, there are many more good people appalled at the atrocities and wanting to make things right. For every lone bomber, there are hundreds willing to jump into action to help save their fellow man. Media creates such hype about the acts of hate. Yet with each terror attack, countless stories emerge of ordinary people being heroes, making sacrifices for complete strangers, and reaching out to offer aid and comfort. Compassion and kindness are most revealed in times of pain and trouble.
Hate may be loud, but goodness is so very bright. It is the silent sun that rises every morning and the soft colors that bathe the world at sunset. Love shines on in this world day after day, through loving mothers, doting fathers, dedicated teachers, brave firefighters, and caring nurses. It is the person who donates a kidney, adopts an orphan, digs a well, rescues the helpless and fights for justice. We can see it in a kindly grandmother or the innocence of a child’s eyes. It bursts forth in the creativity of an artist and the inspiration of a writer.
I have come to see that a portion of love and goodness are innate in our very humanity, a faint imprint left by the one who created us in His image. Perhaps just laying dormant, waiting to be fully realized.
Love is not loud. It does not seek attention or boast of its power. Goodness does not make a big splash on the evening news. For the most part, love and goodness go quietly, unseen, as they daily wrestle against the tide of evil. Yet despite great opposition, goodness fights on all around us. An addict decides to try one more time and a victim gets back up again. A couple works to restore a broken marriage and a city rallies to rebuild after a tragedy.
Pain and sorrow are very great. Yet joy remains abundant in this world, the laughter of children, the excitement of newlyweds, the family playing tag in the park, and the joyful worship of praise to God. Our differences are many, yet across the globe, countless people are crossing ethnic and societal boundaries, aligning together in common cause, to stand against prejudice, to guard our freedom, to protect our environment, and to fight for change where ever it is needed. No matter how dark the night, the dawn silently pushes back the darkness and defiantly says, we cannot be beaten.
This is the overlay of grace, the light that cannot be vanquished and the songs that cannot be silenced. Yes, Satan may make a lot of noise. But this is God’s world, and it is good.
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She’s gone from here, So far away.
I long to get her back.
The pain I feel, so very real,
Reveals how great the lack.
Then I stop and look around
How could I be so blind.
All around are parts of her
Which she has left behind.
The smile she gave is lingering,
Upon some other face.
She left a scattered legacy,
Which time cannot erase.
Impressions that she left behind,
Create a work of art,
That I will keep so carefully,
Imprinted on my heart.
My husband and I live with our four children on the thirteenth floor of a nice apartment building in Taichung City, Taiwan. Needless to say, the elevator is a common part of our daily lives.
It was just a normal, busy day, in the midst of Christmas rush. I don’t even remember where we were coming home from, as our family stepped into the elevator and pressed the button. The number 13 lit up on the panel and the doors closed…
“Children, your mother and I have an important announcement we would like to make.” Daniel said in a way that commanded everyone’s full attention.
I had no idea what this was about. Daniel is a spontaneous man, full of surprises, and I never know what to expect from him. In a quick impulse I decided to play along. I moved next to him and put my arm in his to add authority to whatever he was going to say.
“Your mother and I want you to know that after fourteen years of marriage, we are still totally and emphatically in-love.” Then he turned and kissed me like a bride.
Wow! I hadn’t seen that coming.
The kids laughed a little and said, “Why is that an important announcement?”
Daniel replied that with so many marriage problems in the world and divorce so common, children need to know that their parents love each other. Then he looked at our son eye to eye and said, “When you have your own wife, you treat her right.”
With a loud ding our elevator arrived. When we walked in the door of our apartment the kids chattered between themselves with little giggles, while Daniel and I slipped into our room to enjoy a private moment together.
In 36 seconds between the first and thirteenth floor, Daniel had brought our family closer, put smiles on our faces, taught our son a life lesson, and put warmth in my heart that filled my whole being.
How much can you accomplish in 36 seconds?
Sometimes I feel it is easier to trust God and depend on him for the big things, than it is to trust Him for the little things. I know I need his help for the major crises and decisions, but the little things I feel are my problem. So I carry the weights and struggle alone. After all why would such a big God, care about such small details.
As I stopped to think about it I was amazed at the great care and attention God put into the smallest of his creations. From the perfect social structure of an ant colony to the precision of a single cell, God’s attention to details is plainly evident.
In my home our children watch a lot of animal planet documentaries. They are not only educational but are often fascinating. Each kind of animal, reptile, bird, and insect has their own unique style of courtship, mating, nesting, etc. Many have complex social structures, or intricate nesting designs. Each baby from the elephant to the honey bee is raised in its perfect environment suited to it.
All nature moving with activity and busing with life survives because God cares about details. He knows that too much or too little rain can be devastating, too many or too few blood cells could be deadly. God’s creation moves with balance and harmony.
Surely this problem I am carrying is not too small for Him. He is my father; He is in tune to my every need. He knows better than I do how to handle it. I must simply trust him.
Posted by Marie Morrow
Taiwan - 2007
I have just had the opportunity to travel across this beautiful island with my husband and our four children. We drove over the high, winding mountains of central Taiwan, at a breathtaking height of 3,400 meters. Even with a four wheel drive diesel van it was quite a climb. Our engine overheated on the way up, and our breaks overheated on the way down. Daniel even had trouble with altitude sickness. Yet the view was magnificent.
In the mountains we visited an aborigine tribal village resort, inset in a small valley surrounded by towering peaks. I was equally as impressed with kind and friendly manner of the local tribe as I was with the exquisite scenery. The after dinner tribal show was simple and joyful. The children, teenagers and adults performed together like one big happy family, as they happily testified of their Christian faith and showed us the joy of their culture.
The drive through the Toroko Gorge was one of the most spectacular views I had seen. We stopped many times to take in the beauty and wonder. I couldn’t help but think how greatly God must love this land. It is certainly a master piece of His creation. The greatness and majesty of God is so vividly displayed in His creation. He has surely put the touch of His hand on this place.
Next we visited the East Coast. It had a beauty all its own. Winding roads curved along miles of coast where the mountains and the oceans meet in a delicate mixture of color and elegance. Sandy beaches and sparkling clear water, interrupted by rocky cliffs and coral reefs. The green of the landscape is enhanced by the many shades of light and shadow, as it basks in the summer sun.
There our children went snorkeling for the first time. It was undoubtedly the greatest experience they had ever had. They said, “I had no idea it could be so cool. It’s better than National Geographic.” We saw puffer fish, lion fish, clown fish, eels, angel fish, and schools of fish to numerous to count. Even little Kristy, only six years old, learned to snorkel and shared this experience with us.
From there we continued south to Kenting, where we joined up with two of my brothers and their families, for three days of fun in the sun—swimming and snorkeling along the southern beaches and rocky coastline. There I enjoyed a wonderful birthday with my family on the fun and lively evening shopping street. It was a truly happy time of my life.
As we drive on the long ride home from Kenting to Taichung, I am too busy writing to see much more. I am thankful for the many pictures we’ve taken, but I want to write this story now, to capture every moment and save each memory.
Yet I find that the images most impressed upon my mind are not those of mountains and seas. My mind is filled with faces, those faces I have seen and the people I have met along the way. And my heart aches as though it is bound in a cage. I am looking out through the bars, over this great nation and wanting so much to be a part of it, yet still I am held back by the language barrier. I can speak Chinese on a basic level, but I want so much more.
Each person I meet has his or her own story, and I long to know that story. “What is it that makes you smile? And what has made you cry? What was life like when you were young? What are your dreams for the future? What do your children like to play? And what do they like to sing?
” I long to peer into each home and family, to be a part of their world for a day.
I have such high admiration for these people and road that they have walked. Each one is a precious soul that God loves so much. I wish I could get to know the lady selling flowers on the corner, the farmer planting rice in his field, the friendly student enjoying his summer, and the mother watching her kids in the park. Each person is unique and special.
I don’t know why I feel this way. These people are strangers to me. Yet as I travel through each city and town I am overcome with an emotion I cannot control. It can only be described as Love! How can I love them so much? Why does it break my heart to be held back by my language limitations? Is this God’s love for them that I am feeling? Is His heart also aching to know them, to reach out to them?
His love is so great and immeasurable. It stretches over the land and sea. Yet it reaches into the depth of our hearts to shine His light into every corner of our being. I have often felt this love in my life. It is my guiding light and my purpose. Yes, I do know this feeling well; I recognize it now. This must be what I feel when I see these people around me. It is God’s love for them that overwhelms me! Yes, I know this for sure, God loves Taiwan.
(After three years of Chinese language studies and living among the local people, my joy only grows. The freedom I find in being able to speak the language and communicate with the people has only served in increase my admiration and love for this amazing place. What a wonderful world God has made. It crosses all boundaries, oceans, lands, cultures and peoples. What a joy to serve as an ambassador of God’s Love to such an amazing world. – September, 2010)
Posted by Marie Morrow
Love is a gentle morning mist,
Sprayed on a thirsty heart.
It gathers into little drops,
Thereto its journey starts.
Each tender, caring moment,
Each kindness that you shared,
Was like a tiny dew drop,
Gone up into the air.
Although it seems they’ve passed from here.
Forgotten in the past,
They’re storing up in rain clouds,
To rain back down at last.
One day when you are hot and dry,
In need of help and cheer,
The drops will rain down heavily,
To wash away your tears.
For all the love you’ve given,
Is not lost but stored away,
Just waiting to refresh you,
On a hot and dusty day.
- By Marie Morrow