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Monday, March 21, 2011

My little corner of the World

My heart has felt heavy lately. Mostly, I think, because of all the pain and suffering around the world. From the injustice in Libya to the devastation in Japan to our friends down the street from us who are in the middle of fighting their own tiring battle. At night, we pray for them all as well as a whole list of others we know who are suffering in some way. It's just that lately as the list has gotten longer so has the burden of worry and sadness.

I feel so helpless. I can't go to Sendai and help the sweet Japanese people rebuild their city, though I wish I could. I can't go to Libya and dethrone Ghaddafi (in my mind I always want to say God-Awful). I can't find awesome jobs for those who've been unemployed for longer than imaginable. Sitting in my little corner of the world, I can't fix the troubles, I can't solve the problems, that so many are facing both near and far.

That helpless feeling can become so overwhelming.


The other day I had a moment when the helpless feeling turned to something more similar to hopeful. I was reminded that "man's extremity is God's opportunity," as expressed by Elder Holland in this talk.

As I sit in the comfort of my own home, feeling overwhelmed by all of the suffering going on in different corners of the world right now (feeling both guilty and grateful for my blessings), I remember that there is an omnipotent God who is also full of love and compassion. He loves and is keenly aware of all of His children in every far corner of the earth. I know that He has the power to make things right. And, somehow, He can even take the most awful of circumstances and turn them around.

(Not that that means I'm content to sit idly by, doing nothing... just that I can find comfort in doing what I can from where I'm at without feeling hopeless at my minuscule efforts.)


Fortunately the duties of motherhood have provided me with some distraction from getting too engrossed in the 10 o'clock news. As I turn my focus from news stories to my little boys - Benjamin and Hugh - I feel some worry about the world they'll grow up in and how to properly prepare them for that, but mostly I feel empowered by their innocence and purity.

I don't have control over the affairs of the world, but I do have some control over our little corner in this great big world. Their (Ben's and Hugh's) world, is one in which I do have some control. I can choose the environment they grow up in, I can create a haven of peace, I can influence them for good. I can be patient, I can keep my calm, I can teach kindness with my actions. Here we can have peace. Here we can find comfort and safety from life's storms.

While wars are raging and natural disasters are wreaking havoc, the reality is that here in my little corner of the world I still have dirty diapers to change and mouths to feed and owies to kiss and two little boys who need me.

And, thank goodness for that.

(And, we'll keep flooding heaven with our prayers... hoping they might help just a little.)


brossettelewis said...

thanks...I feel the same way looking at what's going on. You are insightful.

Georgilee said...

I really agree with everything you have said in this blog. It's a beautiful tribute to all the hardships that occupy our news channels from one day to the next, which make us feel so small and so helpless. But as you have said, worries and tribulations are not only on the large, world scale, but also within our own individual lives. I read someone's blog the other day that talked about taking any reason to celebrate and it's something I'm always forgetting to do. We can always find something to be grateful for. Especially when others are struggling. I'm a recently graduated student struggling with finding that first job (want to go into publishing)and at times life seems to bleak. But then I read blogs like yours and your amazing stories of hardships and joy and it puts the world back on its balance. Thanks for writing this blog, and I really hope God blesses both your little boys as they grow :D

candice said...

I've been feeling the same way, like I can't keep up with all the devastation in the world, from Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, Palestine to the Ivory Coast winding over to Japan---it almost seems too much to handle. The other day when I was feeling way overwhelmed with everything going on, I thought about when I was in grade school, when the Berlin Wall was coming down and Russia was being re-structered and there were civil wars EVERYWHERE, I specifically remember, being an elementary student and watching some special IN SCHOOL on the slaughterings in Yugoslavia. It left such an imprint on my then young little heart. Thinking of this did seem to shed a little light, however unhelpful it may be, that things really aren't that different, they are just different---know what I mean. It also makes the scripture in the BofM that much more potent that says, the word of God is mightier than the sword. I was in Italy when we dropped bombs on Iraq. We had to take our tags off---that was the scripture Presidente used when addressing us about what was going on in the world. So much chaos. So much sadness. So much death, and hurt. I wish it could all go away. But yet we do go on, and perhaps it does make life that much more sweet when we are truly grateful for what we have, while our eyes are opened more fully to the everyday realities that other people live. Gives us hope and compassion for them, and pulls at our heart to do all we can to help others. Love your posts, I find that i relate so much with everything you say.

Greek Goddess said...

Beautifully written. I feel the same way. I have felt very overwhelmed by everything, including our own family's need to find full time employment for my husband (on top of being busy being bishop and a father of three). My brother and his wife and daughter were in Tokyo when the earthquake hit. Luckily they were able to return to the states but they're trying to figure out when they can return. It's all so overwhelming. I try to turn my burdens over to the Lord. I'm learning to carry more and trying to give him more. I'm trying to have more faith. Sorry, that was a long comment from a total stranger, but I guess I just wanted to say you expressed a lot of what I feel right now.