My friend Rich sent me a news item that pointed out that food pantries across the country are struggling with shortages, and he said it was difficult to believe what the guys always say: “All is well. All is always well.” It was a serious question, and deserved a serious answer, but I didn’t have it. So I asked the guys, who delivered this.
All is well. All is always well. It was true in the time of the Romans when the lions were devouring Christians in the coliseum. It was true when Napoleon’s armies were massacring thousands, and Mao’s armies tens of thousands and will be true if future armies massacre tens of millions. “Well” doesn’t mean easy, doesn’t mean pleasant, doesn’t mean fair certainly. “Well” means nothing wrong.
Nothing wrong?, you say. Nothing wrong. Choices, choices being made by the hundreds of millions, every second. Choices, results of choices, second thoughts, repentances, fallings, new choices. Injustice, danger, fear, worry, injury, heartache, guilt, compassion – you name it, you’ve got it already.
How else can it be in a free-will zone in which decisions have slow-motion consequences and one moment of time is walled off from the previous and the next?
People make choices based on their understanding of past experience, among other things. In the absence of harsh results of bad choices, how are they to learn how to make better choices? Not that life is only about learning, but that is one dimension.
Choose compassion, practice love, learn discernment – but at the same time, do not doubt that whatever the appearance, all is well, all is always well.