Season of Joy and Grief

Yesterday, I had the joy of watching adult children give gifts. Each gift was purchased with that one person or couple in mind, considering interests, wants, and/or needs. Cooking/kitchen, video games, music, and coffee were some of the themes.

We laughed, ate a delicious meal prepared by my husband, Gart, and enjoyed each other’s company. Yet, even in our joy, there were hints of sadness.

We missed my father-in-law, Bob, gone for five years now. Other family members, we could not invite because of Covid concerns. Not being able to go to the hospital and visit my friend who just had her baby. Not being able to travel and visit my parents.

While acknowledging our grief, I realize others are in much more difficult circumstances. Many have lost loved ones this season. Many are isolated and alone right now.

I need to hold on to our moments of joy in hopes they will grow. Not only grow but overflow. ❤

Vastness

The vastness
Of this world
Lies beyond my
Understanding-
Both above and
Below the waters
Lives a state of
Continuous motion
Where all move
From life into
Death and
Joy must exist
Alongside grief-
Many are left
In need of rescue-
If love is held back
What happens to
Those searching
Staggering
Feeling only sorrow-
Will they fall into
A pit of despair
Or will joyful
Hearts reach out
Their hands into
The vastness
Ready to raise up
Those who grieve
Into the light of
A hopeful embrace

A Weeping World

A child
A spouse
A sibling
A parent
Helplessly watched
A man lying
On the ground
A knee pressed down
Their parent
Their spouse
Their sibling
Their child
Pleading for breath
Calling out for Mama
His cries for mercy
Ignored-then silenced
A family left
Grieving as their
Loved one’s name
Is added to a list-
Individuals deprived
Of liberty and life
Because of the
Color of their skin-
A weeping world
Refuses to look away
A weeping world
Refuses to be silenced

Big World~Small World

There are times when the world seems so vast. An endless list of landscapes to explore, beautiful nature to witness, charming people to meet. In reality, places I may never visit, sites I may never see, people I may never know. Not enough days in a single lifetime to physically travel the miles required. Such is life.

Other times this world feels so small. Communication is instant and constant. Phone calls, text messages, emails-right at our fingertips. Breaking news reports from places close and far away. With this shrinking outlook of the world, my focus moves to what is right in front of me.

I believe it is important to view our planet from both perspectives-big and small. Marveling at the grandeur we may only see in pictures and film reminds us to always consider the big picture. Realizing that even without seeing a person or place, I still have a responsibility to consider the unseen with an attitude of respect and value. This viewpoint also has a way of putting me in my place, one small dot on the atlas.

What are the positives gained in the small world perspective? This is where my daily obligations reside. The places where my spoken words and actions have the power to lift up or crush. My family, co-workers, students live in that path. Here it is crucial to recognize my ability to influence those around me.

Remaining only in the small worldview, I risk an enlarged ego. Such an inflated view of my importance certainly would cloud my outlook on life. Residing only in a big world existence, I risk missing my potential-seeing myself as small and insignificant. The key, as with most things in this life, is a balance.

Interestingly enough one place I currently find that balance is right here, in the thoughts and words I type. This forum allows me to express feelings, tell stories, and be creative. People I’ve known my whole life along with those met in more recent years celebrate, cry, or remember with me. At the exact same time, someone I’ve never met who lives half-way around the world offers encouragement simply by reading my words.

Our world is both immense and tiny, all at the same time. It may sound like a paradox, but it is the reality. Each one of us resides in both spaces. The responsibilities may fluctuate depending on our circumstances, but we are always accountable for making contributions either way.

Big world~Small world…where do you see yourself today?