Broken bodies Broken glass Broken hearts So many pieces to pick up Although they may not be my own They clearly lay in front of me Scattered across the landscape Of my city Of my state Of my country Yet, love has not disappeared It continues to weave In and out of even the darkest days Mingling with the broken pieces Mending hearts Mending lives Mending souls Offering flickers of hope Amid feelings of despair Showing us how to begin Picking up the pieces
Our district, Union Public Schools in Tulsa, OK, currently has four sites working daily to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner for children in our community. In one week, over 70,000 meals were distributed. Today marks the end of week four.
It takes a massive amount of work for this to happen. There are so many people behind the scenes planning, organizing, preparing for this need. And many other volunteers step in to help with distribution.
Whether they realize it or not, those working in the background are creating ripples. Not just a pebble tossed into a pond, more like a boulder lobbed from the shore. All of them working together to create a lasting, powerful ripple effect.
Just imagine. A family drives through the line. They receive enough food to feed their children for that day. And they can do the same thing the next day. Actually, every day, Monday through Friday.
The parents and children realize how much their school community cares for them. They share their experience with friends and extended family. A tiny glimmer of hope in an unsettling time.
No, this is not the answer to all of the problems families are currently facing. Many are dealing with job loss, not to mention isolation. But not having enough food? I cannot imagine the fear that brings.
I hope it is these kinds of things we will remember when this time has passed. People recognizing a need and doing whatever it takes to fill that need. People working tirelessly with no thought of their own recognition.
I hope these difficult times remind us to stop and look around. To see acts of kindness. And to recognize each as a ripple with the ability to become a wave.
A wave of compassion that has the power to wash over us all.
A ripple effect with endless possibilities for positively impacting the future.
As I opened up my computer to write this morning, all I could think was, “look at that blank page.” No idea what I wanted to write about, I just knew I needed to write. And then it occurred to me all these days at home are truly blank slates. There was no advanced plan for them. Each one is faced truly not knowing what the next one will bring.
Although that is true of our daily reality, we don’t often live that way. We make our plans, plan our trips, and dream about the future. Don’t misunderstand, those are important things to do. However, they must be balanced with the acceptance that we never truly know what tomorrow holds.
Even more than future planning, these circumstances make me think of missed opportunities. For example, if a specific person comes to mind today, I am more likely to send a quick text. Three weeks ago, I might have pushed it to the back of my mind. “Oh, I will contact them tomorrow…”
Not that I am following through on every thought, but I am working on being more intentional. I’ve already experienced the payoff in some ways that may seem small. One “Hello, how are you” text yesterday resulted in a sweet phone conversation about life and changes. It also brought much-needed tears and encouragement. That conversation will stick with me for a long time.
Another experience from earlier this week also made a lasting impression. I was thinking about dropping off a small care package to a dear friend. The plan was to leave it outside her door, get back in my car, and wave from a safe distance. Even typing it, it sounds silly. I almost didn’t do it.
Thankfully, I decided not to worry about looking silly. When my friend walked out of her front door, I found myself wanting to jump out of the car, run over, and give her a hug. She even had to remind herself not to keep walking in my direction. Driving away, I fought back tears.
My takeaway? We need each other. We miss each other. And I cannot wait to once again freely embrace my family, friends, colleagues, and students. I don’t know when that will happen.
Until it does, I will keep looking at these blank slate days with faith and hope and love. And just maybe, cover that blank slate with a little kindness. ❤
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13: 13
I am excited to have a guest writer on my blog today, my mom. ❤
When I was a little girl, my mom loved to write poetry. Sometimes for special occasions, usually written for or about an individual. She would share them with family and friends. Her words are displayed in frames in many of her siblings’ homes. But more importantly, her words have been stored in hearts.
She has not actively written in many years, but she has consistently encouraged my writing. Our current world circumstances influenced her to write again. She was a little nervous about sharing, so now I get to encourage her. 🙂
I hope her thoughts bring you peace.🌺
Break of Day
Birds singing Break of day Tune’s different In harmony This day
Flower Blankets Covering ground Soft colors Fragile-Beautiful This day
Gentle breeze Dancing leaves New life memories New beginnings This day
Joyful reminders Hope and love Steadfastness Break of day This day
Great Shepherd’s hand Gently leads On mountains Through valleys This day
Stand still Know peace Given by God Break of day This day
“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
This past week was our Spring Break from school. One whole week to relax and do whatever I wanted. Except, it really wasn’t. Yes, I was able to relax and spend time with family. But no coffee with friends, spring clothes shopping, last-minute trips out of town, etc.
I tried not to worry about establishing a new routine or what would happen in the weeks to come. But now it’s Saturday, and a new week is almost here. It is time to think ahead just a little.
This morning it hit me what I’m going to miss the most when Monday comes-faces. I see so many faces each day. Faces help us know how a person is feeling. We can see happiness, disappointment, struggle, or excitement with one single glance.
We can also receive what we need from the face of another. If I am the one showing sadness or struggling, a smile from another person is powerful. It shows that someone else sees me and recognizes how I’m feeling.
So, although I won’t see all those faces on Monday, I will be thinking about them. Those colleagues who greet me each day. The students I greet each morning as they enter the building. Those few ornery boys who still call me grandma every time they see me. My friend who sits across the table with a cup of coffee.
As I think of those faces, I will also pray. For that is one thing I can do no matter where I am or what the circumstances. These are unsettling times with many unanswered questions. But I have faith that I will see all those faces again soon-live and in person.
Until then, I remain thankful for technology and social media. And with that thought, I will share a picture of my face from this morning. Hopefully, you will see joy and contentment amid uncertainty. And be reminded that I love you.
Take care of yourselves, sweet friends.
“I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.” 3 John 1:14