looking through me

Tag: heart

terra firma

Wave after wave sweeps over me:
a friend’s niece with seven days or less to receive a heart transplant,
a dad with young children suffering a series of strokes,
return trips to detox and rehab,
a toddler’s cancer surgery,
early onset Alzheimer’s stealing a family’s mom and grandma,
white blood counts so low chemo can’t be administered
and questions without answers.

In between sets, I find myself treading water and reaching for words like hope and peace and joy.

I reach for them not as life preservers to temporarily keep my head above water—I don’t reach for them with my hands at all. I reach for them with my feet searching for solid ground beneath me.

Because the waves keep coming. The unthinkable situations keep rolling into the lives of those I love. Sometimes they pull us under. But the waves are not all that is real. Terra firma exists.

It is real.

My toes touch it when I sink into truth: “The Lord is near.”

And my feet find their footing.

“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Hope. Peace. Joy.

Jesus.

Terra firma.

 

 

 

too much

The headlines are maddening. New—but not—every day. Shootings. Bombings. Protests. Finger pointing. Name calling. Scandals. Broken Promises. Natural Disasters. Wars and rumors of wars.

Even as I process the details I feel a little less shocked than I was by the last fill-in-the-blank atrocity.

I feel my heart hardening. Because how can I care about all of it? There’s simply too much. The scope is too big to swallow. The pain is too great to comprehend. It’s easier to look away.

Then I remember why I have to care.

I Skype with my long-distance nieces. I see the older one’s art projects and hear about soccer. I watch the younger one crawl for the first time.

I spend an evening with my local niece and nephew. I play make believe and Zingo. I throw paper airplanes and read stories. I give good night hugs and kisses.

And love roughs up my calloused heart.

Looking into the eyes of my brothers’ children I remember statistics are more than numbers. They have faces and names.

I check on sleeping children tucked soundly in suburban beds, and I think of how many children aren’t growing up in a safe place be it their home, their city, their country or their refugee camp.

The death tolls rattled off by the media rip un-mendable holes in families and communities whether it’s half a block from me or half a world away. And that doesn’t go away with the news cycle.

So . . . I listen and learn. I choke on the hatred and horror, but I don’t turn away.

 

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