Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Bravest Thing

This week a boy at my son's school decided to end it all.  I don't know the details or the reasons or the what ifs of this kids' life.  I just know he decided he'd had enough and didn't want to go on.  The love and support I've seen poured out on the friends and classmates he left behind have been encouraging and heart-rending at the same time.  This group of kids has loved on each other and supported one another and come together as a real community. The thought that's been going through my mind, though, is this:  What if we showed that love all the time?  What if we made this world a little less difficult every day for all the people in our lives?  What if we put away the snark and the side jokes and the cliques (and grown-ups, I'm looking at you, especially)?  What if we opened our eyes and saw the image of God in ALL of those around us?

I teach Sunday School on a rotating basis and something I've been struck with is how hard school and life seem to be for our kids now.  I had a blast in high school.  I worked hard, played hard, and enjoyed every minute.  Kids today seem weighed down by burdens I can't even pretend to know.  Worries about a career, college, family, the economy, war, who knows?  Maybe it's the constant media stream of bad news.  When I was growing up, you turned off the TV or the radio and put the newspaper in that day's trash and the bad news stopped.  Now, it's everywhere and commented on constantly on the zillion channels of chatter we allow into our lives.  Maybe, just maybe, we need a little less information and a little more confirmation that we matter and that we're all going to be alright.

I hung that little print with some family photos in my kitchen a few years back.  I like the open-ended "I Love You Because..."  There are so many reasons to love someone and there are just as many ways to show that love.  One of the bravest things I think we can do is to take that love into the world, every single day.  We can't fix all the problems in the world.  We can't even fix all of our own problems.  But we can shine a little light in the world and make that day a little brighter for our families, our friends and those who are put in our path.  What brave thing will you do TODAY?

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” 
― Desmond Tutu

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