Every time I write a post, I sit down at the computer and pray for two things. First, that God will give me the words to type so that this will be of Him and not me. And second, that if this is truly what He wants me to be doing he will provide confirmation. The confirmation has been overwhelming. Not only has this been an excellent outlet to release emotional frustrations for me, but I have received so many encouraging words from readers, that it seems that this is actually worth while. At the very least, I am thrilled to have readers that are not listed as my next of kin on medical forms.
This morning, I received a comment from a friend on last night’s post. She suggested that I take a listen to Kris Allen’s version of “Let It Be.” Not being an American Idol fan, I had never heard of Kris Allen (my apologies). It is well done and worth a listen. But, while watching, what struck me were the images of Haiti in the background. I think that this just brings the idea of turmoil in our lives back to the forefront. However, this time the turmoil is not internal but external.
So often we focus on the negatives within our own lives. I am the first to admit guilt. After all, I am the one who has spent the last six months writing blog posts about getting over those negatives. But when we turn to look at the turmoil in other’s lives, that which is internal seems rather microscopic.I mean, I was not personally affected by an earthquake on January 13th, or even on February 28 in Chili. I am not busy trying to figure out how to get out of the tent and into sturdier living arrangements before the flood season and hurricanes arrive. I did not have to jump ten stories off a burning oil rig in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Nor, has my lively hood been affected by the oil spill.My home was not destroyed by the Yazoo, Mississippi tornado or the Nashville, Tennessee floods. Some of these tragedies seem so distant because they occurred on foreign soil. But, some of these happened very close to home, perhaps even affecting loved ones. The point is, that regardless of our situation, I am willing to bet that you can always find someone more desperate than yourself. When you view that turmoil from an external point of view, it diminishes the internal anguish.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow stated, “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”Now, obviously, I am not saying the victims of the disasters I have listed are enemies. But, you can list a few people who you might think of as enemies. Have you ever considered the hardship they have faced within their lives? Is it possible that some of that hardship could have influenced the situation that began your anger toward them? Have you ever examined the life of that ex-spouse and realized that rather than you being the one in need of empathy, compassion or perhaps even pity, it is actually them?
For me, this focus on the external is causing a great need to go help someone else. For several weeks, I have been feeling this need. It started with going to volunteer with the clean up in Gulf Shores. I am currently Google-ing mission trips to Haiti. We will see where this leads. Perhaps, this is something that you may consider. While we can’t be personally responsible for the turmoil – we do need to “let it be”. We can offer support in various forms to those who suffer far more than we do.
The comment and Kris Allen suggestion were made by Lucia Craven via Facebook.
The picture of the Haitian Tent City may be found at Grassrooty.com. Grassrooty is a non-profit organization with the intention of collecting tents for use by earthquake victims.
The picture of the baby is three-day-old premature baby Jessica Thelusma. She rests in a bed made from a cardboard box in the emergency room at the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince. You may find the picture and corresponding article at http://www.time.com/time/picturesoftheweek/0,29409,1989214_2137688,00.html#ixzz0oOPs3BPP
The shrimp boat is taking part in a cleaning operation for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the coast of Louisiana. This picture and article can be viewed at http://www.time.com/time/picturesoftheweek/0,29409,1987647,00.html#ixzz0oOQ8sHla