MattAndJojang's Blog

God. Life. Spirituality.

Made For Goodness

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Photo: The Canadien/Flickr

We are each made for goodness, love and compassion. Our lives are transformed as much as the world is when we live with these truths… The world needs your acts and compassionate loving goodness.

In the darkest days of the struggle to end apartheid, it was possible for some to succumb to the endless bad news of violence and torture systematically directed against people because of the color of their skin or those who had a vision of our oneness as people. But we were always upheld and strengthened by the good news of those whose actions reminded us that we are each God’s partners in a love and justice that includes all.

The God who existed before any religion counts on you to make the oneness of the human family known and celebrated. You do this as you respond to the invitation found in the news of the day to make a difference. Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.

Everywhere around us, there are examples of people who are doing just that — who are celebrating the oneness of the human family.

Atlanta’s Derreck Kayongo noticed that bars of soap in hotels in the United States were going to waste. He knew that over two million children a year die of diarrheal illness often caused because people cannot afford to buy soap to wash their hands and prevent the spread of illness. Kayongo and his parents had fled Uganda 30 years ago to avoid the torture and killings of Idi Amin. From his experience of refugee camps he knew that people struggled to survive without basic necessities like soap.

Out of his dismay about wasted soap an idea was hatched. What if the soap could be cleaned and recycled? With the advice of his father, a soap maker from Uganda, he began the Global Soap Project, to collect, recycle and then distribute soaps to nine countries including Haiti, Uganda and Swaziland. More than just preventing the spread of diarrheal diseases and saving the lives of children, Kayongo has brought people and organizations together from around the world in this project of hope.

Like Derreck Kayongo, our own stories, experiences and gifts are the incubators of good news. When we allow our imagination to be engaged with the needs of the world around us, we actively participate in expanding love and compassion. When we do so, God is tickled pink!

Patricia from Seattle says that her struggles with “the blues” are changed by her volunteering, despite her own physical limitations, in a nursing home and in a program where she reads stories to young children. Patricia chooses to work with such divergent age groups because the combination of youthful enthusiasm and the wisdom of elders keep her balanced and appreciative of life.

Patricia may not know the impact of her goodness in the lives of others but her experience is that goodness in action is transformative. She reminds me that every seemingly small thing we do becomes like a drop of water flowing into an ocean of hope and compassion. Opportunities abound in our local communities for being people of hope and good news.

I think also of Bruno Serato… who is revered for the fine cuisine served to the rich and famous in his California restaurant. Bruno has never forgotten his humble beginnings as an immigrant who started out washing dishes. When Bruno saw a homeless child sheltered in a motel eating potato chips for dinner he wondered how to respond to the heart-breaking sadness of homeless children living in motels. Using the skills of his professional life he began delivering evening meals and has now served over 250,000 meals to children who live in motels.

Derreck, Patricia and Bruno are the tip of the iceberg among people across the world engaging in goodness, love and compassion. Their stories invite each of us to consider how we participate in making good news every day.

In becoming part of the good news of the human story, you remind us all that we are made for oneness as a human family. You become a birth-giver of hope. God smiles on you with every piece of good news that you contribute to.

~ Desmond Tutu

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Written by MattAndJojang

January 14, 2012 at 10:02 am

Posted in Blog

Tagged with , , , , , ,

6 Responses

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  1. Bishop Tutu has such a way with words – simple, direct and easy for anyone to grasp. In fact, that is one of the marks of the gospel – it isn’t complicated. In fact, it’s so simple, many theologians have made great careers out of trying to complicate it for people! 😉

    shoreacres

    January 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

  2. It’s a beautiful article. Simple yet profound. Easy to understand yet so powerful.

    I could just imagine what he went through, during the days when there was apartheid in South Africa. Yet I could not detect any trace of anger or bitterness in him.

    This is what gives more credibility and power to his words, and to the message of the gospel.

    He’s one of rare persons who represents Christianity at its best. We need more Christians like him…

    ~ Matt

    MattAndJojang

    January 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  3. This is a concept I have always tried to instill in my children and am grateful they have attempted to instill in their friends and acquaintances. Simple acts of kindness and consideration are a powerful way to affect all of humanity.
    Red.

    Red

    January 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm

  4. I agree, Red. I have to admit that I owe to my parents – for teaching me the right values – who I am today.

    No act no matter how small is insignificant. Even the smallest act of kindness can impact the lives of a lot of people. Just like a stone thrown in a pond which ripples through the water…

    ~Matt

    MattAndJojang

    January 15, 2012 at 9:00 am

  5. I try to do little things to help others, this is my way of thanking others who helped me in the past and who I will never have the chance to thank or see again.
    😉

    nigelld

    January 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm

  6. Nigel, that’s a wonderful way of expressing gratitude! I sincerely believe that there is no such thing as a “small” act of kindness. Any act of kindness, no matter how little, has far-reaching effects beyond the person/s whom we are helping.

    Thank you for subscribing, and visiting our blog. Please feel free to drop by as often as you want. God bless!

    ~ Matt

    MattAndJojang

    January 16, 2012 at 8:04 pm


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