Today is World Kindness Day. And boy does this precious world of ours, and it’s people, need a lot of kindness just now. There is so much sadness and pain, sorrow and suffering.
It can all feel overwhelming as we watch scenes on our screens from all over the world, that scream of ‘wrongness’; as family and friends near or far, travel through the unfathomable; as we live our own personal ‘hard’.
I read recently the idea that technology has allowed us to extend our sphere of concerns across time and space. Not a new idea, but that I read it in a book written in 1955, before the internet, 24/7 TV channels, mobile phones, computers, laptops, tablets, made me really think!
How much more have our own spheres of concerns grown since then?
We have so many people, in so many places in our hearts and minds and prayers, it can all feel too much to bear. Can’t it?
And you know something? That’s ok. Because it is. It is too much to bear. Truly.
“…modern communication loads us with more problems than the human frame can carry…My life cannot implement in action the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds.”from Anne Morrow Lindbergh Gift From The Sea
We do not have enough hours in our day, enough money in our bank account, enough energy in our bodies to act on all of the concerns, desires, wants of our hearts to help, and heal, and bring justice and peace.
It is all, in truth, beyond us.
And that truth can hit us in different ways.
A few weeks back I started to feel the weight of it all in my body. I was agitated. Unsettled. Low. I had seen a news report with an image I can never unsee that broke my heart, and in truth, left me slightly traumatised.
My tummy started to turn, as stress always, for me, goes to my tummy. Broken sleep followed.
I wonder if you feel the weight of things in your body ?
And in what ways you feel it?
And if you are feeling those things now?
I felt heavy, wrung out, lethargic. But most of all helpless.
In face of everything, utterly impotent.
And then my mind formed some words that have become an anchor, giving me something to hold tight to.
Release yourself from the impossible and find what is possible for you
Just because I can’t solve it all, doesn’t mean I can’t do something. So what is the something that I can do?
I cannot take all the pain away. That is impossible.
But the thing I can do, and actually found I need to do, and is somehow helping me feel less helpless, is to lament. And light a candle. It won’t change the world. But it will change me. And that will make a difference. And prayer has to help.
Everyday I light a candle, and ask the Godhead to bring divine light and love to those who need it, and as I walk past the candle during my day I remember the people and places in my heart, and lament the things they are facing, living through, surviving. But a little bit at time. Allowing myself to feel it, a little bit at a time. And be with them, a little bit at a time. And asking for more of God, a little bit at a time.
I know that this is only possible for someone not in the centre of the storm. I recognise that big difference.
But that is where I am and that is my possible. And from this place I am finding little things coming to mind that I can do practically to show and share kindness. A little bit at a time.
I am moving away from impotence, no longer paralysed by helplessness, and finding my way back to knowing and sharing God’s kindness.
If this finds you overwhelmed, swamped by the ‘so much’ that surrounds you, I pray you can release yourself from the impossible. And find your possible. And your possible will bring kindness to your own heart, and release you to find kindnesses you can share with others.
A little bit at a time, precious one.
A little bit at a time.