In the midst of a difficult day this week, I was reminded that simple acts of grace can be the difference between darkness and light. Our family buried a loved one this week, a remarkable mother and grandmother and great grandmother who baked cakes (our wedding cake for example) and told stories (the newborn triplets staying warm on the oven door for example) and wrote letters in a Minnesota/German accent that made us all smile. She lived a long, full life, but it was a sad day. In the midst of it all, I had some urgent things come up at work, things that could not wait. I was emotional. I was out of town. I wanted to be with my family. And I needed help.
And the help came. The help came in the form of colleagues who moved heaven and earth in my absence to get some things done. The help came in the form of texts from friends who offered comfort and reassurance. The help came in the form of time (short as it was) with an amazing family full of love and laughter. People were kind and compassionate and helpful.
Grace, freely given. Care, offered openly. Help, willingly extended. In the midst of a dark day, light.
I struggled a bit with what to write this week. What do I have to offer to the current discourse? I offer this. When I needed it, many people were there for me. Be there for others.
It is both that simple and that complex.
In trying times, it is easy to paint things and people with a broad brush, to make black and white that which is clearly gray. It is easy to get caught up in the moment, to join the pack, to jump on the bandwagon, and to lose the bigger picture.
Who we are and what we do matters! How we treat each other matters! Our actions matter!
In the coming days, weeks, months and years, remember these things. Speak out for what you believe. Act in the best interest of all people. And for goodness sake, treat each other with kindness and grace.
Be the light.