Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sparks of Holiness


A while back I was forwarded a newspaper article from my parents.  I’m assuming it was from my dad because it only said “read this.”  Dad is to the point.  Mom may have written “how are you” first. 

The story was about a Holocaust survivor reflecting on his life.  I was stunned.  I am always amazed that in the midst of unspeakable tragedy, people survive.  And not only do they survive, but they can reflect on their experience and still see good in this world.

In the article, Isaac Neuman (the survivor), recalled stories of helpers.  He calls them sparks of holiness.

This was my favorite bit from the article.  He discussed a question asked about the overall atrocity of the Holocaust.  

People ask: "Where was God?"

Isaac believes God was in the sparks of holiness that radiated through the darkness, in the people who maintained their humanity in the brutality and misery and stench.

There is good and there is evil in the world; that cannot be changed. He believes it is our job — not His — to seek the good and stop the evil.

People ask: "Where was God?"

Isaac asks: "Where was man?"

In the work that I do, I sometimes wonder, why does this happen?  I always fall back on, what can I do to help?

What am I doing to be that light in a dark world?  We are all called to that.  Our humanity calls us to that.  We can’t minimize the impact that a kind word or gesture has on someone else.

I see the sparks of holiness around me, and I am inspired to be a better person.  I am also grateful for being able to see the good in a hurting world.

These sparks of holiness are all around us.  It can be easy to get caught up in everything that is wrong with the world. 

Today I am looking at what is right and true.

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Be kind, not judgey