We are all broken…all of us in some way or another. There are those with whom this condition is very obvious, but I fear there are so many more of us that our hurts, pain, and brokenness remains hidden. It is always so inspiring to me when people humbly ask for help…all pride aside, and just simply and with open hearts ask to be helped.
I was reading this morning about the refugees ..so many if them who are often lost at sea, drowning beneath the cruel cold waves, never receiving the desperate help that they needed. They were broken, needing our help, trying with utter and complete desperation to reach Canada, Europe…the USA. Anywhere they were thinking..anywhere but where they had been living. They needed to be free, to find a better living situation., they needed hope, and our help. Their lives were broken. Couldn’t we offer a means to help “fix” their situation? It seems beyond coldness and disinterest, that I could look away from their plight. What can I do I think? I’m only one person? What could I offer to someone who is broken? Well….kindness for one…that much seems rather obvious…once your eyes are open..truly open to someone’s’ suffering..you cannot look away.. You have been exposed, educated, that your own little safe haven in the world has room..room for more. You can love more, open your home more, feed more, and help more. I guess the phrase just..”do something” becomes very necessary. If something stirs your heart, and your mind says get involved, be there for your fellow man..enough with the broken hearts and many broken bodies..I will not stand by and “do nothing.” My own heart is breaking this morning, and Im wondering how I can get involved,,what can I do. I’m going to talk to my sons..talk to them about these refugees..I mean people…my fellow humans…what do they want to do…how should we help?
I’m struck every time I wheel my daughter into her “special education” classroom just how much in need of fixing and help is needed. There are some dear young people who have so many ailments. Some of them are very obvious at first glance. They sit in their designated chairs..some drooling, heads uncomfortably twisted to one side, legs twisted. There is this one young man, that is new to my daughters’ class this year, and he really has captured my heart. When I first met him he was laying relaxing on the mat on the floor. I couldn’t really see him all that well, but my heart ached as I saw him laying there…why..why..why oh God are there so many who are broken out there?.. Often I just cannot look, I feel as if I might explode if I have to see one more hurting young person again… The next time I saw this wonderful young man, I spoke to him, I told him simply, “hello.” He responded with the biggest..widest most illuminating smiles I had ever encountered. It about “knocked my socks off.” I was so shocked in the best way possible. His smile just brought immediate joy to my heart. The power of a smile to transform the face certainly is something to behold. I don’t know in any detail about his situation, all I know is that he does that one thing extremely well….that smile…his eyes shone, and it makes me feel warm down to the ends of my toes to even think about it.
This girl of mine has that same ability…the power of her smile simply lights up my life..it brings me joy. It gives me delight. I must do what I can to bring out the smiles in others…to ease the suffering, the brokenness that I see around me..we all need to. The gift that occurrs when you do reach out, is that you are transformed. Your innards, your heart opens up, and the misery and the sorrow that perhaps were part of your unseen, or unresolved self, is brought out into the light…it is seen…A miracle happens…when the hidden is allowed to witness the great outdoors a healing happens. Your heart opens, and often happiness comes bursting in, and before you realize it, you are wearing that same beautiful smile.
It changes us when we help someone else, and oh man does it ever change us for the better. You are not thinking of yourself when you are helping someone else, and what a supreme relief that is. It is far better I am finding to be helping someone , then to be helping myself. What a paradox…all around us we are bombarded with the notion that we need to focus on ourselves, be kind to ourselves(whatever the hell that even means..), “I need more ME time.” Um..no you don’t! You need more them time. I have found that lasting joy really is only found when the focus is off of you and onto the person who may be sitting right next to you and needs you. What a relief to not think about yourself.
Take a moment today…I know I will..just to stop and look around, see how you can bring a smile to someone’s face, and I promise an enlightening will happen in you. You will smile, because I think when someone smiles at you it can be like looking in a mirror, you cannot help but reflect it back. It will brighten your life, it will encourage you, and best of all it’s free. Maybe “the best things in life are free.” I remember my Mum always saying to me when I had a grumpy expression..”It takes more muscles to frown then to smile.” I would sarcastically think, well I need my face to have some exercise, so that’s why Im pouting…that’s why I’m mad…truly there is plenty around to make us unhappy, make us frown..(turn that frown upside down…) so annoying when someone says that to you, however much you may have needed to hear it. Pictured above with Bianca, is Jacob Johnson. He is an accidental comrade of hers, and I only say it like that because His Mom and I are great friends, and so he comes along often on our excursions because that’s how we roll. Every time I have been with Jake, the interaction between he and his Mom is so incredible. She will say phrases to him, he repeats something back, and they communicate. One of the sweetest things about Jake is how much he likes sneezes. When somebody lets a big sneeze go, he giggles, and grins from ear to ear…it’s so endearing, and if you stop and think about it, sneezes are funny. How did we miss this? He hasn’t….he has these adorable personality traits, and I think his smile is one of his best attributes. When he is excited he shows such enthusiasm, it’s just wonderful..often saying ” Yay!” And “Good Job!” He is infectious in his personality, and loves going on adventures with his Mom and Dad. It has been such a tremendous blessing to have been a part of their lives, and I look forward to more outings and experiences spent together. It’s often so comical to me to watch people watching us four out and about. To say that you can see us coming from a mile off ain’t no lie. I often say that when you see wheelchairs coming in your general direction it’s like, “the parting of the Red Sea..”(you know when the Israelites were fleeing from Pharoh to get free to the promised land.) interesting how they were refugees of sorts, and met up with a mighty, seemingly impassable sea to cross, and thought they would be lost, but then there was Moses, their leader right there to guide them…to make their way possible….and then there was a way….
I’m often struck with how different my life is than I expected it to be. I suppose most everybody could identify with this sentiment, but I am so happy that I have been able to be a part of something far bigger than I ever thought I would encounter. My compassion and empathy has grown. My ability to see, and not look away has been seasoned. These dear people whose life I have come across have changed me, and molded me in ways I never thought possible. I used to be so fearful of so many situations, the dark especially…(still not over that 100%,) but these things, these ways our personalities and our hearts are stretched is good….we need this…I needed it. Today I will smile bigger, I will take in my surroundings more, I will look for those lives I need to help…I will be involved more…and dear Lord help me….I will not look away.
i love this quote..”The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after its constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.” Charkes Dickens