“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.” ~Fred Rogers
Every night I lay in bed and thank God for my blessings. No life is without struggle, without pain, without obstacles and dark days, but still I have been blessed. Oh so blessed.
When I read Lindsey Mead’s post yesterday, I was struck by her proclamation of a feeling of “it’s our turn” as I have always felt this way. I say always but that isn’t so. This feeling took root after 9/11 and only intensified after having kids. I inherited my mother’s anxiety (though I think I’m better at masking it somehow), and so I’m always waiting for “my turn”. For the nightmare to become the reality, for the darkness to cast shadows upon my light.
There are some who chastise the media for overdramatizing and sensationalizing events in order to captivate an audience when what we should be doing is acting. I can’t say that I agree completely. Sometimes, as with the Boston bombings, I’m not close enough — physically or emotionally — to connect to the horror without stories and photos. Putting faces to names sparks the fire that calls me to action, and most of the time that action is to pray.
So that’s what I’ve been doing for Boston, for those whose lives are forever altered — sending up my voice with my whole heart. And though it’s only one voice, I know that it joins thousands singing the same hymn, and maybe our collective voice will be strong enough to push back some of the darkness, allowing for more light.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ~Fred Rogers
I’m still waiting for “our turn” but I haven’t lost faith in humanity. Look for the helpers, for those whose hearts carry them into destruction. As a friend on Facebook pointed out, as a nation we do not run from fear but straight into it. Perhaps we are all owners of an ingrained courage that comes with having been born to the land of the free, home of the brave. Brave indeed. We cannot control what happens but we can control how we respond, and that is how we conquer hate. Look for the helpers. Love is stronger.