Could Faith Animate Goodness in Spite of Evil?

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People often ask, Where is God’s goodness and healing when evil persists and sometimes appears to overtake us? It’s really a question about being loved and supported when down.

We wonder: Can we really embrace an immense beauty and goodness of God to help us navigate toxic difficulties and evils such as this deadly pandemic?

Parker Palmer asked: “What if you felt the invisible tug between you and everything?” I’d like to add, “What if we felt a tug toward goodness – even when tragedy or evil tends to tug against us?” How do we balance beliefs that support and guide us when tragedy strikes?

It really boils down to beliefs we live! The problem I faced as a young believer was that faith appeared to be fully accessible to only a few. Or that was the rub as I heard it back in the day. Luckily that’s just not so!

As I matured in faith (if we ever really do), I saw God more as goodness itself, rather than as gatekeeper-judge who reserves divine goodness for only a few. He doesn’t always give answers to evil. He gives himself! Over 50 years of brain based research, I also discovered critical connections we are given between mind, soul, body and spirit.

It became clear to me that spirit, mind, emotions and body weave together our unique faith that supports divine goodness for all humanity. How so?

Let’s say we experience or encounter a dreaded illness, such as dementia. We can navigate any evil connected to life-threatening diseases, for instance, and we can boost visible health related opportunities by balancing all four filters below.

1. Physical filters enable us to look through a lens of recent research and apply improved diet, exercise and environmental upgrades that enhance fitness and significantly slow the effects of dementia. For instance, the Alberta Alzheimer Society fosters an active and inclusive team that gets unbelievable results through creating kinder, more inclusive and supportive spaces for people living with dementia. To ignore our physical filter here may well be to miss healing and happiness opportunities within an understanding community.

2. Mental filters enable us to boost serotonin – the brain’s aha fuel – for making awesome decisions that impact our health and improve our resilience to maintain a growth mindset. It’s that tangible power punch we need to move forward and find pathways that lead us to better places, even when we face huge challenges such as illness. Check out this blog and video to discover how the brain comes equipped with serotonin chemicals we can access. Our mental filter enables us to create workaround cerebral solutions to thrive, even when life comes to a standstill in some areas.

3. Emotional filters enable us to access and operate our amygdala (or emotional wheelhouse) where we can replace stress or anxiety with emotional survival skills. Our fully equipped amygdala can help us turn cranky into kind and gunners into givers. Can you spot any hints here for taming our amygdala to work for us rather than against our growth, especially when setbacks strike?

4. Spiritual filters enable us to live each day as a trophy of grace and to become God’s emissary to others by simply being present to them in their time of need. God doesn’t always give us answers to our difficulties. He gives us himself! There are no visible answers for some setbacks. Amazing grace is our tangible super power of unconditional love and divine care that flows into God’s response to human evils.

Look through our spiritual lens and we spot grace to overcome any situation! I often see evidence of God’s immense grace sent daily and observed in breathtaking sunrises over my deck. On some days it’s as if that great ball of fire at the heart of the cosmos, is really his fire of love. It bursts through a sunrise to remind us of support and strength to overcome pain and every evil that we will face that day.

Faith emanates through spirit whenever we consider and live the effects of God’s goodness to every created being. Our lived experiences can rise up when we accept amazing grace from the filter of a deeply valued and loved creation of God’s goodness. Faith rocks our minds when we consider and trust its sustaining power over time, and in spite of intermittent challenges we all face. We are created to look through four filters to see new opportunities of how we are each fearfully and wonderfully made! Each filter comes with resilience to thrive, along chosen pathways of potential we already possess.

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