January 27, 2017

Making a Way



So this is my actual street here in Utah.  We've had a couple of inches of snow.  I think within the last 3 days we measured fresh snowfall at 36 inches.  This was in addition to the 3+ feet already on the ground. Our shiny new snow blower seems puny and ridiculous and we need a tractor just for moving snow.

They tell me that this winter is not normal.  <sigh>

If you cannot tell from this photo, only one car may pass at a time through my whole neighborhood.  When two cars meet on the street, one  must move into a driveway to let the other pass.  Yesterday as I left the neighborhood for a meeting, I found both a Fedex truck and UPS truck facing each other looking puzzled.  Wondering about the 'meet-up' myself, I approached slowly looking for a driveway solution nearby.  It took cooperation, and a little extra time,  between all three of us, to make a way out.  No one shouted or threw up his hands.  In fact, smiles were all around, finding the humor in the situation, though I'm sure the two delivery drivers were on tight schedules. 

All of us in my neighborhood face the same set of circumstances, so it seems we all instinctively work together for the greater good.  The parents going to school are given the right-of-way at 7:30am from those who have already done the 'drop-off' routine. It's a normal, everyday kindness that just is.  No one has to really think about it.

 Ridiculous I know, but I actually thought that after this nasty election ended, we would return to some sort of peaceful normal.  Instead, everyone is angry.  Facebook is angry. Twitter is angry.  Ugh.  In this life, we all have our own circumstances to navigate through and around and over, and these are bigger than snowstorms or elections.  And, usually,  we're so busy that we don't see the personal struggles of our neighbors. Most times, we don't share common messes because we find ourselves too deep in them to look up and out.  We don't know what a stranger or neighbor is facing or how they are hurting.  Can't we assume that we are all making a way?  We are all digging out.  For some, the process is backbreaking and hard, and at times seems impossible.  

Nearly 3 weeks ago my brother suddenly had to bury his middle son.  That same week surgeons removed cancerous colon tissue from the husband of my forever friend since kindergarten.  I know marriages that are tender.  I know businesses that are in trouble.  We are all broken and in need of kindness, not angry shouting. So too, Jesus knows about brokenness and being broken. His heart breaks when he sees our brokenness. 
We seem to have forgotten that in helping each other, we are actually helping ourselves. In giving someone some extra room, I, by default, am improving my own demeanor and outlook. By sharing a little time, or money, or food, I find joy. Funny how that works. 

 In every 'big picture' are  found simple, humble people digging out. We are digging out from overwhelming grief, or fear, or regret.  Shouting just masks pain and fear and diverts attention from the real problems at hand.  Angry crowds and joyful crowds alike are made of thousands of individual stories, all with obstacles and hurts. We must see deeper than angry faces, turn off the noise and gently ask, "Where do you need my help?  How can I give? Do you need a listening ear?  Or a shovel?  Or even a smile?" 

 Nothing melts hearts more than a helping hand.  Nothing silences anger more than simple kindness.
We are to be His hands and feet.

Let's start a new movement.  Let's march to help each other make a way. 



9 comments:

  1. How true this is--everybody is facing their own little tragedies and struggles at various times in life--and situations can be improved so much when we simply take the time to be helpful and kind to those who come into our paths.

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    1. So true Rachel! We really have no idea what the people that we meet daily are facing, and how that may lead to actions or reactions. Thank you for visiting!

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  2. Thank you for this post. I'm not in Utah, but I've done snow storms before, and this brand of kindness speaks to me.

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    1. This winter seems never ending! I love snow but seriously, whoever's praying for it needs to stop! Thank you for visiting Amanda!

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  3. I am so sorry to hear about your nephew. I agree with you that the world needs more kindness, especially now.

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    1. Thank you Beth. Grief like this is so surreal and processing it all takes work daily, especially for my brother's family. Thank you for visiting!

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  4. There is a lot of anger around, but I don't think there is anything wrong with expressing feelings whether it is anger or gladness. There is room for both. I think there needs to be space to allow people to feel what they are feeling. Oftentimes, we try to run back to normal because that is what feels safe, but it doesn't make things better if the anger or pain is still boiling below the surface. Kindness also includes room for allowing people to process just like each of you taking the time to process the best way out of the blocked street. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. So very true Latonya! (Love your name!) I am daily grateful to live in this great country where we are truly free to express ourselves. I have lived abroad and that just isn't true in other countries. Sometimes it just seems like everyone is 'expressing' and no one is listening. I miss conversations. Honestly, it's just been a rough year all around and now that I've come up for air, the world is just noisy. Thank you for your gentle words, and for visiting!!

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  5. Very well spoken my friend. We miss all of you greatly!

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