As I look around, catching glimpses of the pain and anguish, I find myself wondering if it will ever end. The nightmare plays out for someone somewhere without notice. The impact of being inundated with the images, sounds, and facts is beyond numbing. I find myself hiding from the newscast, avoiding the headlines, and treasuring moments of silence. Life’s harsh reality is here. “Terror and pits and booby traps are everywhere, whoever you are. If you run from the terror, you'll fall into the pit. If you climb out of the pit, you'll get caught in the trap. Chaos pours out of the skies. The foundations of earth are crumbling.” (Isaiah 24.17, 18) If it isn’t you then it’s the stranger living within the community you call home.
I keep hoping we will find, understand, and deal with the source. Given earth’s history it seems we are as much contributors to the problem as solvers. In my own little space I find there are three things I can do which ring true.
First, I can step back, rest and be ready. There is little point in taking life on exhausted. In the heat of California I suggest sharing an ice tea with one who nurtures your soul. When overwhelmed step back and rest, letting our compassionate God soothe your soul with beautiful sunsets, put things in perspective with the lights of a crisp night sky, and give you a sense of new beginnings with the coming dawn.
Second, I can let God’s children reach out and touch my soul. Accept the smile from a stranger as a gift of mercy. Revel in the helpfulness given by a stranger caring for reasons all his/her own. Discover the hope lying buried in life’s details.
Third, I can be God’s voice, hands, and ears for walking beside me. Known or unknown, worthy or less so, giver or takers – each can sense and experience the gifts we receive through my actions.
There are sources of hope, wonder, and beauty. They lie within and without, waiting to be discovered and experienced.
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