Friday, November 11, 2016

When New Lenses Are Needed...

Deep in the "trenches" of Motherhood holding hands with an almost 4 year old and carrying a small babe, I froze in the middle of the Kroger parking lot at the scene playing out before me. I watched as my husband handed over an entire bag of candy to a shocked bell ringer in a red vest standing in the cold next to her red bucket. I watched as the words "you are the best bell ringer, you bring so much joy to everyone around. I know you purchase the candy you give to the kids out of pocket and I wanted to bless you today" left my husbands lips and a tear filled woman embraced him into a beautiful hug before he made his way back to his banking job inside.

I managed to begin walking and called to catch up with him. He didn't know we had been standing there and was excited to see us. My googly eyes were showing as he shared how she really is the most joyful bell ringer he has ever seen and he figures he can spare a couple dollars to help her do it. 

I don't remember the events prior to getting out of our car to walk inside the store. I don't remember what we did the rest of the day. I don't remember what silly spat Caleb and I were likely in the middle of.

What I remember is how proud I was to be married to that man. A man who sees the best in people. A man who is kind. A man who loves well in his own way. A man who makes my world and the world around us better. 

I fully believe God intervened and allowed me to witness my husbands kindness that day. I needed to see him through a different lens. I needed to take off my exhausted mom of littles glasses. I needed a new perspective. I needed to know that boy who wooed me with his heart for others was still there. I needed to know that there was hope. I needed to know we were going to be okay.

I tell you this today because I think a lot of us need to remove our lenses and find a new perspective. The recent election and events surrounding it have fogged up our glasses. Division, fear, and hopelessness have crippled us as a nation on all sides of the spectrum. We are indeed facing a critical moment, but it has nothing to do with who holds the presidential office.

When we stop valuing humanity and simple acts of kindness, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

When fear guides our steps, our steps become about self preservation. Self preservation leads to division and division destroys. 

 We have an opportunity as a nation, a church, and as individuals to show the world that although we disagree, we value each other. We have an opportunity to show that America isn't great because of one office, but because we believe people, all people, have worth.
We have an opportunity to show the world that when things get hard, we take the kind road. The road that will repair and unite.

If you are feeling discouraged this week, I understand.
If you are feeling sad, I am sorry and I get it.
If you are worried, I share in your thoughts.
If you are angry, feel it and release it.
But, don't let these feelings define or cripple you.

We have ugly things in our past. We will have ugly, hard things in our future. 

We can be a nation that wallows in those ugly, hard things or we can be a nation that learns, reconciles, and makes the needed changes. 

Trade out those old, foggy glasses for shiny, clear ones. Allow yourself to see the good in our world. Tell the stories of hope. Get to work spreading kindness like wildfire. Hug someone different than you. Send an encouraging card. Buy someone some candy, coffee, or a donut.

We can not move forward if we are paralyzed by fear, anger, and hate.

Personally, I am so ready to move forward. I would hate to leave anyone behind.