‘The best of healers is good cheer’. (Pindar 517-438 BC)
Some time ago, a young lady sat opposite me – the group I was with had just come from a church service – and we were in a nearby pub for a drink and discussion. It seems the most interesting things happen when we’re at rest or relaxing, don’t you think? The topic in the group centred around the GoodNews (however we define that), and at the mention of that word (or is it two) the young lady burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably. As positive a person as I am, I suddenly realised then, that for some, the GoodNews (or some peoples version of it) isn’t good news at all. I wept inwardly.
And yet, ‘God is the happiest being in the universe’ (G. K. Chesterton).
I visited Speakers’ Corner in central London yesterday. It’s a place where, usually on a Sunday afternoon, anyone can get up and voice their opinion, and many do just that. There are some who will be articulate about alien abduction, chat about chem trails, be erudite in their discussion of the finer points of existentialism, and there’s one man there who wears a sign upon which are scribed the word, ‘I know the secret to eternal youth’. Ofcourse, when asked what it is, he refrains from revealing it by replying, ‘Well, if I told you it wouldn’t be a secret!’. That was funny. I laughed.
‘Humour brings insight and tolerance. Irony brings a deeper and less friendly understanding.’ (Agnes Repplier)
This isn’t a rant.
If what you think, say or do is good news, is the GoodNews, that is, whatever you do – whether it’s sending light and love, prayers or liturgy or ritual, energy-sending, works of service, (even) paid work, if it is positive and life-giving, wholesome and/or serving others, then please, please, please by what you say and do, spread that positivity, and do it with a passion. This is my hope. Do not hold back. The world needs you. And you don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to have everything ‘sorted’ in your life…being human is sufficient!
This is a plea.
‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.’ (Marianne Williamson)
There is an old story about the plague in medieval England that I told to a group of friends, recently. I hasten to add that this was in my small garden in my London place (and not the pub!). The story goes that a village – and about one in three in England died of the plague at that time – had been infected with the plague. Each day more and more people died. Some moved away, and that probably assisted in spreading the plague, but you couldn’t blame people for doing so. The doctor of that village decided that he would stay and continue to treat people, make them comfortable and possibly clear the village of the deadly plague. One of my friends tried to finish the story for me by saying, ‘..and you’re going to tell me that the plague left that town and the doctor lived happily every after’. To which I added, ‘No, the townspeople died of the plague and so did the doctor. No miracles happened. Just passionate, costly, selfless love by the doctor, and that’s why that story is known and still told, today’.
The world has many people in ‘darkness’ and, sadly, it has some people who ‘darken that darkness’.
The world needs you.
It needs quiet, sober, passionate light-workers, pray-ers, energy workers, liturgists and/or ritualists, poets and musicians and writers, people who will listen non-judgementally, people who will hold space for those suffering, people of good-cheer, aye-sayers and not nay-sayers, it needs Celts and Celtic Christians and Druids and other well-meaning people of other faiths and none. It needs awesome people, like you!
In large ways and small, please spread light and love. Never belittle what you do, who you are. That Which Is Larger Than Us has put you here for a purpose (whether or not others understand that purpose).
‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’ (Martin Luther King Jnr)
Back in that pub, recently, a few of us were sharing our favourite quotes. I hope I don’t give the impression that I ‘live’ in pubs. It’s just that the local one has a cosy, comfortable, living-room atmosphere, complete with a nice carpet which just invites the kicking off of shoes, it has a sofa and books! Two of my favourites! It also does a mean tomato juice drink with Worcestershire sauce. There, we shared our favourite quotes and maxims, and all the quotes were uplifting and love-centred. The only one I can now remember, and which is offered here to you by way of encouragement, is…
‘All shall be well; and all shall be well; and all manner of thing shall be well’. (Lady Julian of Norwich)
That made me, inwardly, weep…but this time, for joy. Please be encouraged. I don’t know what you’re going through, but you are needed, loved, and you’re doing a great job, and my prayers are for you.
[PS: Apologies if you got several notifications about this post. I had to ‘trash’ previous versions before arriving at this one. Blessings, Tadhg]