A Not So Cheery Monday
I had the chance to sit down with a cup of coffee today and do some reflecting. Unfortunately, this is one of the first things that I set aside when life is busy or I have a lot to do. It's almost easier to allow momentum to move me forward at times. It allows me to stay fueled for tomorrow/the next/the to do list instead of remembering to carve out intentional time to be still.
My heart is heavy today. Am I the only one that has certain days where you just feel the depth of the troubles in this world? It's in these moments that I try to remember that I was created for a different home...but also responsible for my current existence as well.
My cousin Laurie passed away this weekend after a long battle with cancer. I was the flower girl in her wedding when I was four. She got married on the top of a mountain in Colorado and I remember thinking she must have been a princess. There I was with my little basket of petals next to my sister trying to remember to behave myself (she has always been much more controlled than me). It's difficult to process the fact that her husband and children will now have to continue their lives without her. It has made me think a lot about cancer and how it is such a cruel thief; how it unapologetically forges its way into the lives of so many not thinking about it's damaging wake.
So much devastation from the hurricanes. To think of vibrant places like Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, the Caribbean is harrowing at best. I tried to envision what it would be like to leave my home with little with me not knowing if I would ever return...or if I was able to, if there would be anything to return to. I tried to think about what it would be like to wake up one morning unable to find anything that was familiar...to see your community look unrecognizable.
Then this morning...a senseless act of violence that has terrorized the lives of so many. 58 dead and hundreds wounded in a place where they should have been able to be joyful and free. So many whys and hows and what nows. Family members frantically trying to find their loved ones who are missing, concert goers reeling from the scene of absolute fear.
So. How do we reconcile all of this? How do we from our air conditioned, well lit, happy homes or offices respond in a meaningful way that would actually create some kind of change? In the mass of what needs to happen, how do we make a dent? My mind and heart struggled with these questions today. How can I...one person...make some kind of impact? Where do we as a community of fellow human beings start to rebuild all that has been broken?
And then, sitting in one of my favorite places in Grand Rapids, heard my answer. A woman at the table behind me was talking about the Las Vegas shooting and I overheard her say, "Well, we have to do something."
Something. SOMETHING. It was a reminder and permission to do something. It doesn't need to be the solution, but it could contribute to the path of getting there. Maybe I can't cure cancer or rebuild entire islands...but I can take a step, write a letter, donate my resources or time. It was an unintentional reminder from her that when people come together, change and impact can be created.
In the face of so much pain, I think we live and breathe through the spirit of empathetic humanity. We mobilize, we move. We look for tangible ways to contribute. And mostly y'all, WE LOVE. We choose love and bravely fight for it. We say it to people because life is so short and tomorrow isn't promised. We pray for our world, for people who are hurting, lost, or mourning...and then for opportunities to help in the darkest hours.
In that spirit, love you all...know that you are so important.
"If you could see humanity spread out in time as God sees it, it would look like one single growing thing...every individual would appear connected with every other."