It is easy to get to this time of year and feel like the gas tank is on empty, especially in light of the tragedy in Connecticut. Where do we go from here, when the unthinkable has taken place, and so many people are hurting?
We go to places where we connect with others- to houses, to churches, to synagogues, to communities where we remember that we belong to each other.
On Sunday at church, I was lost in thought about what happened in Newtown, and the tears just flowed. I couldn’t stop them, until at the sign of peace, I shook the hand of a young mother, and her baby boy held out his arms for me to hold him. I gladly picked him up, and while my daughter Sarah explained that I was getting my baby fix to the mom, I felt my tears turn to joy as his smile warmed my heart and his giggle that wiggled his whole body moved into my soul and gave me a big dose of healing. His presence was exactly what I needed in the moment.
It is hard to imagine moms and dads without little children to hold, and so we hold up those moms and dads and family members, reminding them that in the midst of darkness, love still exists and will carry us through.
For me, I was also thinking about my daughter Becca who was sitting in a hotel in Apia, Samoa waiting for a category 3 Hurricane to pass over. She was transitioning from her training site to her placement site and was in the capital when the storm hit. She managed to talk to her training host family, and while they are all okay, the house she stayed in was smashed by a falling tree.
What is amazing to Becca is that even people who have lost everything in the storm have volunteered to move branches, clean up mud, and help others get what they need. There is truly a feeling of family and they know that another storm will come sometime, and they will rebuild again. I imagine that is what the people in the east are doing as well, cleaning up from Sandy.
There is only one thing to do in the face of hatred and pain, and that is to respond in love. Love is the only thing that will save our world – going out of our way to show kindness and compassion sends a ripple of energy through the earth that does make a difference. All you can do is light your little corner of the world with kindness, and in the end, while it may not feel like much, it is enough.