Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Being the Difference in a Broken World

If there’s anything the news has captured this week it is that even though we are a society capable of sending an email anywhere on the map in seconds and can invite people from anyplace on the globe into our living room through Facetime we still fail to bridge the gap with our neighbor. Struggles to start conversations have created chasms. Blinders have left us ignorant. And the result is brokenness.

We live in what is touted the greatest nation in the world.  Many of us have faith in a God who graciously breathes life into us and beckons us to be His hands and feet.

Yet we watch and freeze.

And I don’t know if it is a lack of awareness, or a desire for ease, or simply being overwhelmed by all the forms of tragedy tucked away in our culture but it burned me and stole precious hours of sleep.

How is one person supposed to respond to any of it?  

I don’t pretend to have the answers. I’m just as human as you.

But, yesterday morning I woke up bright and early and went to my children’s school with an excited spirit and my cup of coffee cheering me on after what basically amounted to a glorified nap the night before.

Organized by two teachers and a supportive administration, our students collected and purchased fleece thanks to the generosity of our school community and together students, staff, and volunteers worked to tie blankets for a local organization that delivers warmth (through blankets) to the homeless. Leave it to teachers. They are truly of the heart to nurture becoming better people not just create smarter learners. 

And so, through little hands tying fleece, the world shines brighter.  They worked with gusto to get their tie blanket done - one kindergartener even telling me about his strong muscles making it possible. They smiled and talked and laughed and dreamed about the children these blankets would serve. They took a step towards bridging a gap (that should rattle us all) in the spirit of peace and love.

When the day was done and my back was reminding me of my age after sitting on the gym floor so much, I climbed into my mommy minivan with pause. Tears welled in my eyes. The school is making purposeful effort for kids to help kids so that goodwill and compassion might be their way of life.

And they did it one tie at a time.

Our God created us all with different passions. Different gifts. Different burdening to different issues. But I have to believe that He did so with the perfect recipe so that if each of us acted in the areas we feel impassioned all these divides would fade away because they would all be met. Love wins. Hope fills the void. Accord begets relationship.

So today I humbly challenge you to start with where you are with the spaces that grieve your heart. Work with gusto. Make a blanket for the homeless. Bring a meal to the single mom. Become a mentor for a struggling child. Invest added time with your own children to reinforce healthy families. Lead a group. Become a foster parent. Bring food to the food pantry. Shake a veteran's hand. Get trained to help at your local crisis pregnancy center. Swing your hammer to build a community. Tutor or teach how to read. Join the fight in human trafficking. WHATEVER.
The fact is the needs of the world are big and struggles daunting, but together we can be the difference. 

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