The Land of the Living…

Every year, usually in May, my local library displays artwork created by students throughout our school district. When attending the opening night of the art showcase, one can expect the library to be noisy and bustling with people rather than its usual quiet, slow-paced atmosphere. During this nighttime, community event, students show their artwork to loved ones, and people of all different ages not only view the work on display, but also tend to strike up conversations.

It is a time of excitement and joy at the library. One can sense it in the air and on the faces of those who attend. It is nice to be there and to see such creativity, and it is often a good time for all. The work, all created in the confines of art rooms throughout the school district, remains on display through the end of the month for all who may enter to see.

This week, during a visit to the library, in the midst of writer’s block, I got up and moved to another spot to take a break for a few minutes. As I was sitting in one of the more comfortable, living room like chairs, I looked up to see rows of magazines in one direction and rows of newspapers in another, and then between the two, display stands covered with art work from the school district show. As I gazed, I was struck by the beauty of the colors, the creativity, and the various forms of artwork around me.

While I have always enjoyed opening night of the art show and the beauty of the work displayed, this particular day, I had the opportunity for a viewing in a quieter setting, and during the daytime. In revisiting some of the work, the beauty was even more noticeable and spoke to me in new ways. Just as the students were sharing a piece of themselves (their minds… hearts… souls) in their art, we share pieces of ourselves wherever we go… wherever we are.

Overall, the experience was a great reminder of how good it can be to revisit or retrace one’s steps every now and again, even in what might seem minor at first glance. It is good to reflect on the ways in which I contribute to the environment around me. This is especially true in the midst of societal events that can lead one to see darkness and death more so than Light and Life in the world as well as in our day-to-day routines.

The truth is that there is, and will always be, more good, and potential for good, than there is bad. Oftentimes, all we have to do is take a step back, look again to see what perhaps we did not notice before or to remind ourselves of the good that we have experienced. When we allow the goodness that God has planted within each of us not only to take hold of us, but also to shine through us… to influence our words and actions, and most especially our prayers, we cooperate with God in building and creating.

We have are far greater impact than we might imagine. It is up to us to acknowledge and appreciate, as well as to nurture goodness, in ourselves and in others.

“I believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living.” – Psalm 27:13



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