by Joe Jeffery Tuesday, August 20
Why is there evil in the world? What a loaded question this is! This question tugs at the heart of every human being. Instead of giving a direct answer, I am going to offer you a different angle on this topic. How have you experienced and observed what is truly good and beautiful in your life?
In the past year, one answer to this question has been through my nephew. Watching him grow from a newborn to a one year old has been a truly beautiful process. He is so full of laughter and energy. When I see my nephew I cannot help but experience the joy of his existence.
Not only does watching my nephew bring about joy in my heart but seeing my brother and sister-in-law raise this child is truly beautiful. The love that they have for their child is apparent in their eyes. I have seen my brother smile like I have never seen him smile before. I have seen my sister-in-law radiate with joy when describing her child to others.
So I will ask the same question again but in a simpler way. What is beautiful to you?
Is it a sunset? A perfect song? A person? A concept? The best meal you have ever had? Everyone has an experience of joy in their lives.
This experience of beauty and joy is the way life should be. Now turn on the news. Rioting in Egypt, global warming, flooding. No one has to tell you that there is evil in the world.
I have a challenge for you. Instead of focusing on what is evil in the world, think today about what you find beautiful. If you dwell on the negatives of the world too much, it will harden your heart. One of the side effects of constantly hearing about the sad and the ugly is that it inhibits us to see the good and the beautiful.
When we do experience the good, the trick is that the moment is fleeting. We have great memories, but they were just moments. It seems evil, fighting, and sickness in the world manifests itself one way or another for all time.
I want to share with you some good news. Really the opposite is true. Pain and suffering do end. Beauty is what remains. Governments fall, dictatorships end, oppression ends. Like my dad always says, “God does not let people be persecuted forever.” I urge you, do not believe the lie that I have believed. The lie is that evil wins. Evil does not win, the true, the good, and the beautiful will always endure.
If you are angry with the world, that is okay. I just hope that your day can be brightened by the beautiful. I urge you all to keep your eyes open to the good, and do not let evil bring you down. The point of evil is to try to distract us from what is truly good.
So what is beautiful to you?
Joe Jeffery is the Campus Minster at Holy Family Regional School in Rochester Michigan, a guitar player, and enjoys spending time with his fianceé. He has a BA in Theology, History, and Political Science, with a minor in Catholic Studies from Aquinas College.