Last Wednesday a friend on Facebook asked how it is we all “keep a soft heart in this often exhausting world”.
This was Wednesday. Two days before we’d hear anything about the attacks of terror in Paris and the day before suicide bombers killed people in the streets of Beirut.
At the time, on Wednesday, I thought about the red cup brouhaha (which now seems really long ago, doesn’t it?). I thought about the loud mouth politicians who are all trying to out shout and out policy one another into the hearts of Americans (seriously, we still have a full year of this hollering). I thought about how venomous Facebook had become (among some) over the past year or two.
How do you keep a soft heart?
I knew my answer right away.
And today, after the bombings and shootings, my answer is the same. Today, after reading more poison that masks as opinion on social media, my answer is the same. Today, even though fear threatens to hold me in a vice grip, my answer is the same.
I look to those who are doing good in this world. Or, to borrow from Mr. Rogers, “I look at the helpers”.
I look at the box of Wheaties still on my table from breakfast. Stephen Curry’s gracing the cover (he’s a basketball player for the Golden State Warriors). Did you know that for every 3 pointer he makes he donates 3 mosquito nets to be used in third-world countries. And the guy makes A LOT of 3 pointers.
I look at the teacher who starts each class affirming the positive qualities of his students. Oh, and he teaches in a special needs classroom. He’s found that his daily encouragement has inspired his students to lift up their classmates.
I think of my friend who works with refugees in Lansing, Michigan to enable them to learn English, find housing, get some necessities.
I look at friends who organize meals for a family who is sick, the special collection taken at church for those in times of need, the couple that serves in the 2’s and 3’s Sunday school class every single week.
I think of my friend Tim who moved to the Dominican Republic to serve as a missionary. On one visit to a place called “The Hole” (literally a landfill that extremely poor people live in…I am not lying) Tim noticed that people walked barefoot through a rancid stream to get from one place to another. They didn’t have shoes and had little to no access to sanitation. So Tim built a bridge. And Tim used his creative mind to find ways to help that community (I seriously cannot list them all in one post…but it’s amazing). There is now access to clean drinking water, a food kitchen, a church, education, and hope. I went to The Hole years ago. He now tells me I wouldn’t even recognize it.
Good. Not for gain, but for others. Not in our name but in the name of the One who is, by definition good.
Keep your hearts soft, my friends. Don’t allow them to become calloused over by fear and hatred, bitterness and anger. Look to the good that people are doing in the world. It’s a balm.
And that good is everywhere, sometimes you just have to really focus to see it.
I could go on. But I want to hear from you.
How is it that you keep your heart soft when so much is terrifying in this world? What is the good that you see folks doing in the world? I need a good dose of hope – not just today but all days. Let’s share that hope with each other.
Love this!!! My sweet son recently had to write 50 words about why he would be a good representative for student council. He said that he would start a program to stop bullying in school and he would continue to stick up for kids who were getting picked on that couldn’t defend themselves. Henry is 8! Seriously! He made me cry. All you can do is keep doing good and keep trying to lift others up instead of putting them down.
He’s a wise boy, that Henry. You’re a compassionate woman and he is mirroring that. Such a wonderful thing. Thanks for sharing. You did my heart good today.
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Focus to see it….like this post!….Phil. 4:8 seems to fit….”Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
Thanks for the reminder Susie!
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I read this while listening to Ascend the Hill’s version of Be Thou My Vision. I think that’s how Jesus read this post.
No, but seriously, this blog is one of the ways I still see the good; see God in my daily life. I also listen to great music, seek the encouragers, and when all else fails, I sing and play piano as loud as I can. I use it to lament, to proclaim joy, to express frustration, to seek God through creativity and love.
When I see Him, he has never failed to show up.
Thanks for your post. My day is better for it.
Just in case you wanted Ascend the Hill’s version of Be Thou My Vision to experience the effect I had.