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Monday, April 27, 2015

I can do small things

The last few days my heart has felt heavy. It all settled on me so subtly that I couldn't quite pinpoint the cause, though, which then meant laying in bed last night filling the dark space between my husband and me with quiet ramblings, trying to sort through what was weighing me down. Thankfully, he is a very patient and loving listener.

It started with worries for a close friend who is fighting cancer. I've been feeling unsure of how to help ease their burdens, how to show our love, how to make sure they know they aren't alone. I still don't know. But, I have to believe that God surely knows. I hope I can be aware of quiet promptings that might help me know what they might need.

Then, there's Nepal. The death toll continues to rise and my heart keeps sinking with every updated headline. I know God works in mysterious ways and is able to make beauty from ashes; I know He can take life's worst tragedies and disasters and turn them into miracles and triumph, but I just want to cry right now. Not because of a lack of faith, but simply because I feel so helpless. I just hope that my prayers and mourning can somehow ease their suffering and pain.

And, Ghana. Our youth were involved in a service project, sending school kits to a new school that has nothing. I just got photos, showing the children receiving their kits. I was told they were so happy they were dancing around, chanting, "we are so happy! We are so happy!" I haven't been able to stop looking through the photos. My heart is warmed seeing their smiles, but I can't help but notice the edges of poverty framing each photo, the lack of common comforts that I totally take for granted. We sent them some simple supplies that I hope can make some small difference, but I just wish it could have been so much more.

I have so much. I have health and comfort and security. I know those aren't givens and all can be taken away in an instant, but I just have so much abundance that I wish I could transfer some of my excess to make things more even. I keep telling myself there's a reason and a plan. But, I don't get it. Why are some born into so much and others born into so little? The one thing that keeps echoing in my heart is that in my abundance I have a responsibility to give in any and every way I can. Maybe part of the test of life is to seek to even things out, to find people with less and give of our excess.

I feel an urgent need to relieve human suffering. Obviously with three little ones that are my happy priority right now, I'm not exactly available to travel the world doing humanitarian work, but I'm finding that there are little things I can do. I find inspiration in the words of Mother Teresa:

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

My heaviness comes from feeling helpless not hopeless. I take comfort in knowing that I can do small things and hope that somehow it can help someone somewhere. Today I'm going to think of those sweet school children in Ghana who have a new set of colored pencils and the joy they might be feeling to be able to finally draw a rainbow. And, then I'm going to open my eyes and my ears, seeking for opportunities to spread light and love in my own neighborhood.