Drawing by the Author, 2016
Created on the iPad Pro with Procreate, using the Apple pencil.
Something struck me this morning at breakfast that hasn't occurred to me in exactly this way before, even after many years of experiencing it.
It's possible for a single impression of goodness to have a quite remarkable impact on one’s inner order. These impressions of goodness, which generally emanate directly from relationship with other people, come when an individual offers an openhearted and warm expression.
No matter what the general being and overall constitution of that individual is, there is a certain moment where it's possible for the essence of God and of goodness to flow out of a person unimpeded. We all have that potential, to manifest on behalf of God in a loving way; and it almost always takes place, as it were, in an offhanded way, when we least expect it, and at that odd and unpredictable moment 99.9% of what we are in our ordinary way is somehow forgotten for an instant, allowing that bright light of divinity that exists within all mankind to shine forth.
When one sees such a manifestation, and receives it in a right way, one is filled with an inestimable and indescribable joy of Being, and an affirmation of the essential goodness of life and of people. This one instant, if it goes in the one deeply enough, can serve as an antidote for one hundred years of poison. That is to say, one instant of goodness is greater than ten thousand instants of evil.
Taking in such an impression provides a very fine and unusually powerful food for one's inward Being. It is, at the same time, a tiny thing; and it is just this kind of tiny thing, this very nearly unnoticeable instant, that brings the greatest grace. It's exactly what Meister Eckhart was referring to in his last instructions to his pupils, when he said that what is least in our own eyes is often greatest in God's.
Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.