Beauty in the Chaos

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Do not be afraid.” – Frederick Buechner.

Not a day goes by without a story that horrifies, a tragedy, an act of evil, an unspeakable horror dominating our news channels, twitter streams or news feeds. This past couple of weeks has seen bombings, earthquakes, wars and fighting, fatal accidents, threat of attack……a never ending onslaught of heartbreaking and often frightening news stories.

Frederick Buechner’s quote (above) appeared on my twitter feed following the bombings close to the finish line at the Boston Marathon. At that moment, it seemed that the terrible was outnumbering the beautiful in every way. Following the news from Boston, further reports of fighting and civilian casualities in Syria, a drone strike that killed 30 people attending a wedding in Afghanistan, and people killed in bomb attacks in Iraq. The following days saw earthquakes in Papua New Guinea, Iran, Japan and China, cities on lockdown, and horrific accidents including the explosion at a fertiliser plant in Texas. The ‘terrible’ was overwhelming.

Yet, in the midst of all the horror, there was beauty.

In Boston, there were the first responders, who run towards the explosions rather than away – putting themselves in harms way in order to get to people and help them. There were reports of Marathon Runners that crossed the finish line and continued to run to the hospital to give blood to victims. The number of people who are opening up their homes to the displaced has also been evident, in the number of people who have  put down their information on a Google Doc, offering shelter for runners (via

Back in 2010, Producer Ridley Scott and Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald sent a request out to the world to chronicle, via video, a single day on Earth. They received 80,000 submissions and 4,500 hours of footage from 192 countries. They took this raw material — all shot on July 24, 2010 — and created Life in a Day, a groundbreaking, feature-length documentary that portrays this kaleidoscope of images we call life. It is filled with the beauty of this world. It inspires and encourages. The trailer is only a tiny hint of what the entire film holds. And the film is a tiny hint of all the beauty our world holds.


The Huffington Post has a news section entitled ‘Good News’  which holds inspirational, heartwarming and funny news stories which would get lost in the endless bombardment of awful news. It is a great site to visit:

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