on goodness


In a nursery rhyme volume I treasured as a little girl there is one line that goes, "When she was good, she was very good indeed, but when she was bad she was horrid." I've been thinking about this a lot lately, the way people——the ones I know and even the ones I don't——have good days and bad days, not just in terms of the things that happen to them but in terms of the things they cause: the things they do to and for other people, and the words they say, and the choices they make. These past few days I thought a lot about the black and white and shades of gray, as I sat on a crowded pew and bowed my head, as I listened and lit candles and tried to imagine what great redemptive suffering must feel like. I am learning that love and hate are too complex to keep to themselves, that at their strongest these two are often intertwined. I want to be the kind of person who is good every day, but sometimes when I am impatient or selfish or callous or complacent, I think about all the other days that will allow me to try, and know that often this promise has to suffice. 

Happy Easter, everyone.