Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
This was part of the Lectionary reading on Sunday. Although we read it in church, our focus was more on the peace that passes all understanding in the verses before.
I've heard many of my social networking friends say over the past few days that they were taking a break from listening to network news coverage. Not because they don't care but because what they are hearing is simply too painful. There is a need to process and make space before any more darkness can be allowed in. Perhaps that is when this verse speaks anew to us. We can pepper the darkness with light. By so doing we dilute not our compassion but the power of that darkness.
Even in overwhelming tragedy, stories of pure love and light emerge. Giving thanks for those does not in any way diminish the tragedy but it does nurture and nourish our fragile souls. And it allows us to punch holes in the darkness and to be mindful that "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.
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