As most of you, my heart is breaking over the social divides happening in the US right now. This post is meant to promote love, so please refrain from speaking anything that will bring the opposite.
Before our kids became too old to want bedtime songs sung to them, we would sing the same 4 songs every.single.night. One of them was the age old Jesus Loves The Little Children.
Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white. They are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Our kids have not grown up noticing color of skin. I’ll never forget the first time our daughter was shocked to hear someone telling a story and referring to someone as black. She didn’t understand why the story needed someone’s skin color pointed out. The truth was it didn’t.
I’ve traveled the world and seen racism in many different forms against all different people. It always breaks my heart. We are ALL people created in God’s image. We are ALL people of color. Some are red. Some yellow. Some black and some white. Let’s see people as people and not negatively distinguish them for their color of skin or where they’re from. Love and peace, friends.
This week I’ve been in New Mexico up in the mountains where the air is cool and nature sings to you. I put a hummingbird feeder out a couple of days ago and have spent a lot of time watching the hummingbirds come up to feed from it. They really are fascinating little birds. I’ve learned a little about them thanks to Google. They are the only birds that can literally fly in any direction. They fly 25-30 miles per hour and can dive 50 miles per hour (that explains their constant return to the sugar water filled feeder). They have an impeccable memory and can remember every flower they visit and how long it takes it to refill. They are unlike any other bird which is what gives them that fascinating edge. But they do have their limitations. Did you know they have no sense of smell? Or that they have very weak feet? They really only use them for perching. They can’t walk or hop on them.
As I’ve tried to draw some kind of mind blowing conclusion from the hummingbird, I’m reminded of recent conversations centered around doing what you’re good at it. So here it is. The mind blowing conclusion derived from watching the hummingbird… Spend your energy doing what you do well. After all, you can’t be good at everything.
I believe that good can come from anything if we look hard enough. This pandemic has definitely been the opposite of good; it’s been horrible. If I look past the horribleness of it, I see people who have come together in community to help others. Virtual prom and graduation for seniors who are missing the most memorable moments of their last year of high school. Friends dropping banana bread and games at our doorstep. Drive-by disciplines that bring a broadway star singing Phantom of the Opera to a freshmen’s sidewalk. Families gathered around the table eating dinner and playing games. Food parcel deliveries to the most vulnerable in South Africa.
The response of so many in such a devastating time brings tears to my eyes. It also challenges me deeply. When it’s ok to give a hug again, I want to carry over this heart of community, love, and generosity that has seeped through the cracks. We were, after all, designed for connectedness.
I’ve never liked grocery shopping. I like planning a menu and executing it, but the actual shopping for groceries is just a necessary means to an end. That’s why I do a big shop once a month and just get essentials like fruit, vegetables, and milk during the week. When COVID-19 hit, Jeremy started doing the shopping while I would wipe everything down when he got home. It was a good way to split up the duties.
It’s not been until recently that I started venturing more into the grocery stores, and I find the new normal of shopping to be a stark contrast to before. One way signs direct traffic, smiles are hidden behind face masks, and if you’re coming up near someone, both parties retreat into the 6 foot bubble to avoid close contact.
What I’ve realized is that it takes extra effort to practice kindness like smiling anyway, because they might not be able to see my mouth, but a smile lights up the eyes, too. Or commenting on the lack of toilet paper with a bit of humor. How about taking the time to wish the cashier a great day? I think we’re all weary of COVID-19 and its ramifications. The new rules and guidelines are necessary but cumbersome. I think we could all use a little extra kindness today and everyday. How about we start by finding ways to practice it a little more?
3. Social distance chats with friends. It feels strange, awkward, and good all at the same time.
4. Quarantine haircuts.
5. Especially when they’re done by Emma G and finished off with a leaf blower.
6. Humor. Doesn’t it just feel so good to have a good laugh?
7. Zoom video chats with our South Africa crew. Because of slow internet, we’ve always refrained from using video. Either SA internet has gotten faster (unlikely) or Zoom is just great at handling video. Either way I love being able to see faces while I talk!
8. Doggies who can’t seem to get enough of the water hose. No wonder this dog sleeps so well at night.
9. Blooming outdoor plants.
10. Sunshine and vitamin D. So great for the body and the soul.