A few days ago I thumbed through the weather on my phone--youngsters may go directly to messages and emails, but I bring up The Weather Channel for the day's forecast. (Also the weekly forecasts, and eventually I troll through the 15-day forecast.)
The front page of TWC shows various wallpaper--right now it's hot air balloons against a blue-blue sky--and I get the date, time, current temp, high and low for today. Then I notice a few teasers, stories about who's having the most rain/snow/hail/heat/you name it.
And I began a quick scroll...but had to stop and back up. What was that headline?
Yes! "Good News: Favorable Pattern Flip on the Way."
I witnessed a miracle! Good news on the weather report.
On the next page came the various videos: "Stunning Tornado" - "Man Fights with Bear" - "Scary Sight Out of Plane Window" . . . I didn't watch any of those. I was still dazed by the notion that "Good News" had been reported.
We've all heard the thinking behind news reports--good news doesn't sell newspapers, or keep viewers entertained. News agencies are motivated by sales, entertainment value, and keeping the listener/viewer from touching that dial.
And yet . . .
My current reading is Heather Lende's Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs. Sounds nice, doesn't it? A feel-good kind of book?
First chapter--2 1/2 pages in, Heather Lende is riding her bicycle on one of the first spring days and is hit by a truck.
She's medevaced to Seattle (she lives in Haines, Alaska) for treatment, rehab, and continuing therapies for nine months.
Okay, I hear you saying, so what's your point? It's not a feel-good story?
My point is this: The premise of the book isn't how nearly fatal the accident was; it's about the community effort that contributed to Lende's recovery.
Here's a quotation from the jacket:
"Family and friends cooked her meals, revamped her house, and got her back on her feet. Hers was a singular event, but the truth is, by the time we reach a certain age, most of us have been hit by a truck in one way or another. Lende shows us that our responses to those setbacks have everything to do with faith."
We can appreciate the magnitude of community effort when we learn Lende has a husband and five children.
Of course there's this sticky wicket--my good news may not be your good news.
Maybe what I'm driving at is this: If we don't have bad news, how do we know what good news is?
If we never have disappointments, do we recognize fulfilling events?
My little eye-blink that nearly missed "good news!" on the weather report caused me to back up and read more slowly. Made me think about how we react to good news--and to bad news.
I wish there were more good-news stories out there. But I'm finding there are plenty of them, if we look for them.
Maybe that's the point--we have to look for good stuff. It may be small stuff. Really small stuff. And then we need to celebrate it, remember it, share it with friends and family. Good stuff can grow by being shared.
Have you had good news today? I hope so. It may be on your phone, in your newspaper, hanging out in your mailbox. . . . Keep looking.