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.