The Man in a Good Place
He was in a good place. Really. So when an acquaintance encountered an unexpected, upsetting turn of events, he decided to reach out.
The acquaintance was despondent over his circumstances. Almost suicidal. The Man in a Good Place -- because he was in a good place -- was able to listen, to be fully present and encourage the despondent man. And because he was in a good place, The Man in a Good Place was able to reach out not just once but repeatedly over the months that followed.
The Man in a Good Place came to care about the man who was suffering, and the relationship slipped from acquaintanceship to friendship. He stayed with it the whole time, checking on his friend, encouraging him, helping him along any way he could...
until finally unexpected GOOD circumstances found their way into the suffering man’s life and the day came when The Despondent Man was no longer despondent but instead…happy.
Then one day, some bad things happened to The Man in a Good Place and he found himself
in a bad place.
As he sat in his apartment, alone, stunned, despondent …
<Do you know what I’m going to say next?>
As he sat in his apartment, alone, stunned, despondent … his phone rang and a familiar, laughing voice said,
“Hey, buddy! I’m calling to check on YOU for once! How you doin'?”
“Actually, man,” he responded, “it’s kinda weird that you would call right now, because I’m kinda shaky.” The Man in a (Not) Good Place choked out his unexpected news, how lost he felt, how small.
And the Once-Despondent Man, now in a good place, told his friend how much his past words of encouragement had meant to him in his time of struggle, told him what a difference he had made in his life and pointed out how very NOT SMALL that was. And then the Once-Despondent Man listened to his friend in a fully-present way and encouraged him. They even laughed together as he quoted The Man in a Good Place's own long-ago words right back to him…
Do you see it?
Do you see the beauty of the Kingdom-of-Heaven-at-Work?
Do you see how lovingly we are knit together, if only we give the Kingdom a chance? If only we will reach out to one another?
The Kingdom is WITHIN us and AMONG us. And it lives and moves and has its being BEST when we act like it.
So today’s assignment is this:
Act like it.
Act like the Kingdom of Heaven is within us and among us. Reach.Out.
(p.s. BOTH men in this story are in good places now. :) )