"a hymn, a lesson, a revelation"

That action is good
which we are able to accomplish while keeping our attention and intention
totally directed towards pure and impossible goodness,
without veiling from ourselves by any falsehood
either the attraction or the impossibility of pure goodness.

That's by Simone Weil. A bit grand sounding. But I like the insistence on reaching out for the truly good thing, even if it appears (or actually is) impossible. Never settling for the lesser evil, and calling that "the best we can do."

I've tried to get into the habit of always looking for a really good solution when a problem arises, even when it seems like there are no good options. The more difficult the circumstances, the greater the challenge to see what possible good God could have in this situation, what unexpected better result could be found if we wait and reach for it, in faith. And that's really the key, I think. Not settling for the reasonable compromise that we can hammer out, but looking in faith for the good that is impossible for us, that has to be given to us by God. So far I haven't been disappointed in my waiting.

But there often is waiting; the unforeseen good usually does not appear immediately. For example, over the past year I've gotten into a difficult situation with the church here. Not wanting to be continually (and disruptively) challenging and yet also feeling strongly that God was trying to lead in a direction that the church was resisting, I decided to go elsewhere for a while. And I've felt pretty good about the new relationships with people in other churches near here. So much so, that I think I'll keep attending other churches, even when I eventually join the worship here again. That's part of the good, I think. But I've also been less than satisfied by the worship and expression of church in these other congregations, which has left me waiting still. Wondering for months if there isn't some better answer that I'm missing.

Then recently a new friend mentioned a simple idea, his desire for church. It comes from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians: "When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation." Everyone bringing something to worship, and everyone having the chance to share what they bring. In a small house gathering, like they had in the early church, that's possible. So with some friends we're going to try this. In the evening, not as an alternative to other churches, but as an addition. I still believe things will get better in the church here, but it will take time, and in the meantime it's important that people have a good experience of worshiping God together. We need that. And maybe some of our experiences will also help inspire good things in what the church is becoming.

This unexpected answer to a prayer I didn't quite know how to pray is making this a joyful Easter for me. Truly a gift. And perhaps, like with the answer to the disciples' terrible circumstances after Jesus' death, a revelation of a good much better than they could have hoped for.