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.

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