In the quiet of the morning, after two days of rain, calm crests over the ocean beyond my window. I watch gentle waves and wonder why it feels so impossible to make a difference in this world. Wonder why so many are hurting in a season supposed to be filled with joy. Where is the peace in all the madness? And why don’t I know what to say?
Because I am afraid.
Afraid of speaking the wrong words. Afraid of saying too much. Not saying enough. And so I sit in silence.
The past few weeks the world has tipped over into disarray. Tragedy and terror try our patience and wring our souls dry. And there is anger. Ignorance. Fear. Words are wielded like weapons and they cut and create more havoc, dividing on all levels in the worst kind of way.
Do we know how broken we are? Do we care?
How much easier to huddle in our homes, safe and warm and dry, while streets in far off lands run with blood. How much easier to avoid those closer to home who need more than we think we can possibly give. We are convinced now that we cannot make a difference. And fear has won.
I envy those who believe they can. Those who push fear aside and step into darkness. Those who stand up and speak and get up and do. And I wonder if I could be one of them. If I could turn off the noise . . . the vitriol, the incessant back and forth fighting filling social media, a virus that will sicken us all if we let it . . . is that even possible now? And I wonder where the good is. Surely we have not succumbed so fully to this darkness that we no longer recognize the light.
Or have we snuffed it out? Burned that candle right down to wick so it no longer holds a flame. I don’t know. Perhaps.
It’s possible that in all the mass confusion, unimaginable hurts and horrors, that we have lost sight of the good. That we have become so consumed with what is going on beyond our borders, we’ve also forgotten the very ones around us who need us just as much. Who need to know they are also loved. That they too matter.
And maybe that’s where we start. Acknowledging the brokenness instead of finding someone to blame for it. Attempting to fix it rather than figuring out how it all happened in the first place.
Fear tells us we can’t. Fear tells us we’re going looking for trouble when we try to do good. Fear keeps us in the safety of our homes, behind locked doors.
But love? You know.
Perfect love casts out fear.
Love in the truest, purest form, makes us more than who we think we are. More than what the world tells us we are. That kind of love lets people in. Lets us out beyond our safety zones and pushes us into places we’d rather not go. Places we cannot possibly go without it. But once we’re there? We know it’s we’re meant to be.
I can’t go out and save the world. But I can love those around me.
It may be a small step. But it may be all we can do. All we have to do.
A phone call. A card or email. A meal. Or even a hug.
I think I’ll start there. Because sometimes there isn’t anything to say. Sometimes words fail.
And actions speak louder.
How will you love this season?