This morning I read the last reflection in Charles Ringma's profound devotional, Dare to Journey with Henri Nouwen. This book has been manna for me, providing uncanny insights when I needed them most. Today is no exception.
Ringma writes, "Unless we have totally withdrawn from the world, our lives will be a window for other people. People can see what we are about. And it should hardly come as a surprise that others can usually see quite clearly what our values are."
He goes on to describe how this can make a difference for others.
"When we respond to the divine impulse to forgive and to do the greater good, our lives become a window to a new reality. This reality every human being has a desire for but seldom gains a glimpse of. Because we see the way of peace, justice, and mercy so little, we doubt not only its achievability, but also its value. But part of its value will be realized when those who live for peace and righteousness, while they may not achieve a better world, at least live as windows of the fact that such a world ought to be."Forgiveness doesn't always work the way it should. Apologies sometimes fail to bring restoration to broken relationships. Mercy is sometimes repaid with hatred and anger. But God has larger purposes in mind. He takes the long view. And as Ringma reminds us, "While we may grieve over what we have lost, we can also rejoice in the new things that we are discovering about ourselves."
Not only that, but we can cherish glimpses of what is to come.
"Look, God's home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." (Revelation 21:3–4)May my life be a window to this unshakable reality!