Part of a recent study of the Sermon on the Mount suggested the challenging proposition that evil is something artificial to our essence that we may put on, but that it always hides what’s most true. It disguises what’s most real. We are created good and are to help each other live right side up in our upside down world, and it’s hypocrisy to assume or to do anything else—hypocrisy to act like we’re anything other than good, awesome and beloved, wonderful and delightful, fantastic, magnificent, excellent, terrific, superb, breath-taking, marvelous, momentous, prodigious, fabulous, portentous, glorious, stupendous and tremendous. We are formidable, exceptional, incredible, remarkable, phenomenal, sensational, and consequential. We are impressive, amazing, astonishing, stunning, and astounding, extraordinary, great, miraculous—we are (and so is everyone else as well, of course)!
It’s how I send the girls off to school each day—reciting as many of the aforementioned adjectives as I can remember. “Have a great day,” I say, “because you’re great girls. You’re awesome and beloved, stupendous and marvelous, magnificent, terrific, glorious ….” And they very matter of factly say goodbye over the litany—slam the door on me still talking. And that’s okay! I roll down the window and yell out a final, “I love you!”
I don’t know what all they hear at school—from their peers—don’t know what they overhear from the older kids. I don’t know what they hear from the adults they encounter. Implicitly, explicitly. But I do know what they hear from me. Every day.
Because it’s true.
Because it matters.