Overcoming Evil

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Do good.

As much good as you can find to do.

Do it.

I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s book, The Broken Way. I want you to read it, too. I’m giving away two copies. For a chance to win, you need to leave your name below and promise to get another person a copy of the book. You can give them your copy or buy it. It’s up to you. I’m not giving away my copy because it’s a book I want to return to time and time again.

The one thing that has really struck me about Ann’s words is this idea of being a generous people. By and large, Americans are some of the most generous people in the world. Perhaps not surprisingly, Utah, home to the Mormons, ranks first in its charitable giving. But what is surprising is that Mississippi, one of the poorest states in the nation, comes in second in charitable giving, underscoring Jesus’s story of the widow in Mark 12, that out of her poverty, she gave all that she had.

This election year has brought out the darkest parts of us, and I’m not excluding myself in that observation. One blog reader dropped me a note last week lambasting me for what they deemed as my bad girl behavior. I didn’t post their comments because they made them anonymously and if you can’t sign your name to your criticisms, then your comments aren’t worthy of publication. But that doesn’t mean that your criticisms aren’t worthy of consideration.

I will be the first to admit this election year is the toughest year I have ever had to face as a voter. Donald Trump is an affront to everything I am – a Gold Star daughter, a journalist, a sex abuse survivor, as a thinker, a woman, a mother of girls, a woman of faith. For someone who wants to make America Great Again, he sure has spent the bulk of his lifetime tearing it down.

I have not changed my position on Trump. I do not regret the words I have spoken against him. I will continue to speak them, especially if he is elected, God help us all.

I am heading into a monastery on Monday, so I won’t know for five days who wins this election. I am looking forward to being in that place of not knowing. In fact, if he is elected, I would much rather stay in that place of never knowing.

My husband says if Trump wins it won’t be the end of the world. I say I’d rather it be the end of the world than for Trump to be president.

I really mean that.

I would rather face death than Trump as president.

People say there are enough checks and balances in our system that even if Trump is president, he will be reigned in.

I don’t have any faith in our government whatsoever regarding their ability to control Trump. No one has controlled him yet. He lacks any sense of shame or responsibility, or, frankly, any goodness.

Like I said, an affront to everything I care about. I feel reassaulted by him whenever I hear him speak.

So I have stopped listening to the radio. I haven’t been on FB in three weeks. I haven’t seen the memes or the remarks or the conversations. We don’t have TV in our home.

Instead I’ve been reading and thinking. And one of the things that Ann got me to thinking about is how this election has turned many of us into the ugliest versions of ourselves. Me, included, like I said already.

I can’t deal with the ugliness anymore, so I’ve decided to do something about it. I’ve decided to do something good everyday. Something kind. Something generous. Something that will help others.

Yesterday, when I learned the Mississippi church had been burned down and the words “Vote Trump” spray painted on the side of the building, I did a Google search to see if anyone had set up a Go Fund Me account for the congregants. And they had because it’s Mississippi and they are one of the most giving states in the nation. They set a goal of $10,000. As of this afternoon, they had raised almost $200,000 because we are all at our best when we are out helping others. Give us a goal and we will not only meet it, we’ll outgive it.

I gave to that fund because I don’t know what else to do in the face of evil but to do good.

Today, I got a note from Bob Goff over at Love Does. Bob is one of the most abundant living people I’ve ever met. The man exudes joy. It seeps from his pores. I can’t imagine Bob Goff having a bad day ever. The man is always, always, always in search of serving others.

He is the hands and feet of Jesus.

Anyway, Bob sent this video out about the refugee crisis in Mosul.

There’s been a lot of ugly, ugly talk about the refugees in Mosul and Syria over the news here in America. A lot of fear-related yammering.

Bob sent a video about the good things folks – Muslims – are doing in Iraq.

My nephew David served in Iraq. My friend David has served several tours in Iraq. I know many widows and Gold Star children who lost husbands/fathers in Iraq.

It has been on my heart for sometime now: How can I help those refugees?

So Bob sends out this video and tells me exactly how I can help. I can provide support to Iraqi families, to young girls and boys trying to get an education even as their city is under siege.

I sent a donation to help in Iraq. Then I signed up to sponsor a girl in Iraq.

I had told Joe Galloway years ago that I wanted to go to Iraq. He told me I was crazy. He didn’t think I ought to go. I didn’t end up going but I may. I may ask Bob Goff to let me join him in Iraq soon. Or maybe Ann Voskamp. I am determined that the only way I can fight the evil that abounds around me right now is to do good.

If I don’t find someway to do good, I am going to be overtaken by the evil that besets me.

I don’t think for a minute that it is God’s will that Donald Trump be president. I am not sure it’s God’s will that Hillary Clinton be president.

God never came to be a political leader at all. That’s what the Jews wanted, but that was never Jesus’s mission.

His mission was all about redemption.

While I don’t think it’s God’s will that Donald Trump be president, I do believe and trust that no matter who is elected, God will redeem the wrongs we have committed and continue to commit.

It’s God’s redemption power in which I place my hope.

Not any political party.

And certainly not a candidate who claims he’ll make America Great while campaigning on a platform of hate and anger.

 

Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good. Romans 12: 21 

The only way America is ever going to be great is by doing good.

Do all the good you can in all the ways you can all the days that you can.

 

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

18 Comments

Madeleine Tavares

about 1 year ago

Put me in the drawing for the Ann Voskamp book, Karen. All of this just horrifies me!!! Love to you my friend!

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Marsha Tennant

about 1 year ago

Thank you for reminding us GRACE is the answer.

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Estella Shockley

about 1 year ago

Do good. That is all. Blessings.

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Melanie Taylor

about 1 year ago

Thank you for your words. I am a social worker for special needs foster children. I will be photographing Christmas memories this weekend with a family caring for a teen hospice patient. His pain and tears this week make all of the election vitriol so trivial. Our words and actions must uplift our fellow man.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 1 year ago

Thank you for the work you do, Melanie. You have won a copy of Ann Voskamp's book. Please send me your address at zachauthor at gmail dot com.

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ANNETTE RIGGS

about 1 year ago

As always, thank you for your words to inspire us and lift us up. Lord knows, we need lifting up right now. We can do one good thing at the time and hope that it gets paid forward. I will certainly do my best.

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Barbara Windmoller

about 1 year ago

KAREN I would love to read Ann Voskamp's book. A friend on fb quotes from it. I have the perfect friend to give a copy to. Thank you for your inspiring thoughts and words. Just finished Mother of Rain, and loved it. Looking forward to reading Burdy. Hope to meet up with you again. Enjoy your retreat. Barbara.

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Diane

about 1 year ago

I would love that book.

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Ann Cavera

about 1 year ago

Thank you for speaking up. I can't believe these two choices are the best we can do. I will pray for the one who wins, but I do so wish we had better choices.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 1 year ago

The nation had better choices. The people wanted Trump. They had upteen candidates to choose from, many so much better. He is the people's choice. At least the GOP people's choice.

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AFRoger

about 1 year ago

And that has always been the issue--not what Donald J. Trump thinks, but what we the people think and how we think about our neighbors and people we do not know. If we thought differently, Donald Trump would be a non-issue because things would be different. Thank you for this story, and blessings on your journey of prayer and listening. Peace be upon you.

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Sandy Gilliam

about 1 year ago

I just love reading your blogs as you can put beautifully into words my very thoughts. Trump as already done so much damage for our country! Some people think it's ok to belittle, make fun of & just downgrade folks. We've become racists again because of this awful man. God help us!

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Karen Farris

about 1 year ago

Americans are generous. But it needs to go deeper than our pocketbooks. It needs to take our time & be a sacrifice. I volunteer at a school where the kids live in poverty. We feed them two meals a day and send them home on the weekend with tuna fish & bread. It's a tough life, but we want to give them hope for a better future. That takes time, and money. Our nation is hurting--which may explain why people are grasping for answers. But it gives people of faith a way to shine brighter.

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Steven Friedman

about 1 year ago

Enter me please. I promise to give away one copy of Ann's book.

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Jane kirkpatrick

about 1 year ago

Ann's book sounds great I'll find it and buy two giving one away. All we have control over is getting clear about what matters in our lives and having the courage to act on that. May your monastery time bring you great peace. And hope. Thanks for the reminder of what we can do in the midst of this painful election.

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Patty Hicks

about 1 year ago

Put my name in for the book giveaway. (Patty Hicks). I have been wanting to read Anne's book since I first heard about it. past time for the return of common decency and being kind to each other. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and heart.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 1 year ago

Patty: You are one of the winners of Ann's book. Please send me a mailing address at zachauthor at gmail dot com. Hope you enjoy it!

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Susan Maas

about 1 year ago

Thank you so much for your thoughtful words and for your encouragement to do good. "And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8. Not just to talk about justice, but to DO justice--and to God, doing justice means helping the poor, the sick, the refugee, the orphan--helping those whom society has failed. Thank you and please put my name in the drawing for the book.

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