It’s so easy to decide that since the world isn’t what I want it to be, I’ll just ignore the greater “out there” and create my own little corner filled with people and things that suit my preferences.
But that’s not who I’m called to be.
Jesus has called me as a conduit of His love, mercy, compassion, truth and grace to a hurting world.
I am inundated every day with comments or messages from struggling hearts. They are hungry to know that God sees, that God cares and that His people are willing to listen and minister His love to others.
So when God tells me to reach out- I DON’T resist.
I may be the only hope a hurting heart can hold onto.
If God is calling you to lend a hand, lend an ear or lend your time, DO IT.
Be the drop of His love in the ocean of another’s need.
I wrote this from my point of view as a bereaved parent. But I think the principles can be applied to any topic by anyone.
It is entirely possible to make your argument, share your perspective, even ardently and passionately support a cause without attacking the person you’re talking to.
No one has ever changed their mind about anything because they’ve been shouted down, silenced, shamed or made to feel small.
It’s funny how child loss has, at the same time, made me more yielding and more steadfast.
I give in without a moment’s hesitation to other people’s choice in where to go for lunch, what to do for birthdays, how to arrange this or that at church. My brain simply doesn’t have the capacity any more to argue over trifles.
But I will stand up to a lion for the sake of love or to protect a hurting heart.
It’s a lesson I learned decades ago and have honed over the years.
When the big things feel out of control, focus on the small ones right in front of your face.
It has served me well since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.
Right now there are so, so many big things outside my control-not just the ones all of us are facing like the pandemic, or job loss, or trying to figure out how to navigate a world where you can’t hug your friends or even see their smiles-but many in my own family.
So I’m getting up every morning and looking for the one or two or twenty (if they are small!) things I love and can do something about.
In practice (for me) it looks like this: taking a morning walk along with feeding my critters (stopping to notice butterflies, lovely flowers, falling leaves, sunlight through the trees and sticking my nose in my horses’ manes); sweeping off the front porch and tidying the kitchen so my eyes can rest happy on clear spaces (even though the rest of the house is out of order due to major reorganization/moving rooms); putting my hair up and washing my face; writing (obviously); choosing one corner to clean well and declare “finished”; taking an afternoon walk with my son’s little dog and laughing silently as her tiny legs churn away keeping up with me; smelling hay as I toss it to the donkeys; reading bits of books (my attention span still isn’t what it used to be); chatting with friends and family online or on the phone; resting after a long day’s work by watching old British mysteries with lots of interesting characters and no bloody violence; embroidering or crocheting until bedtime and sleeping with open windows.
It will undoubtedly look different for you.
And my list has taken years to develop-when Dom first left us I most often only managed a walk and maybe a little readingor journaling.
But you can begin by jotting down things that used to bring you pleasure or feed your passion.
I hid this post in my draft folder for months before I published it the first time.
It seemed too raw, too full of all the pain inside my mama heart to put out in the wide world for everyone to see.
And then it was time (like now) to change the flowers on the place where my son’s body rests and I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “THIS IS NOT ALL THERE IS OF MY BOY!”I wanted to stop people on the street and make them listen to his story, to give away a piece of him for others to carry in their hearts.
My son is not a number or a statistic or only a memory.
He is integral to my story, blood of my blood and flesh of my flesh–part of my life.
I rest assured he lives in heaven with Jesus but I miss him here with me. That’s selfish, I know. But I can’t seem to help it.