Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Quiet Week

Actually, my mind has been quite noisy and active this week, but I haven't shared much here.

Many thoughts of war and peace - when the one will end and the other will reign.

Much moon gazing - the full moon has been ridiculously gorgeous all week.

Reading to and with the children.

Many hours of reading, writing, meditating, praying, reflecting. I wake up early and sit in the dark in my study thinking about the days that have passed and those that are yet to come. The busyness of the holiday season must be offset by silence and solitude before the sun rises.

Lately I have felt almost overwhelmed with sorrow because of all the violence in the world, the senseless murder of peacemakers, lawyers, human rights advocates - those whose aim is to stand up for the oppressed. Innocent market-goers, parents with children, hard-working men and women gunned down, or assaulted by bomb shrapnel. Domestic violence. Emotional, physical, sexual abuse hidden behind solid front doors, dark sunglasses, and meticulously made-up faces. Typhoons. Fires. Families split up and lost in snowstorms. The tears flow.

But then I pick up my daughter upon her return from inspecting, sealing, and boxing up hundreds of Samaritan's Purse shoeboxes filled with goodies for children all around the world. Boxes filled by generous hands and generous souls. She is overflowing with stories of her time there and asks when she can do something like that again.

But then we go to the Scholastic Warehouse Book Sale. Daniel was thrilled at the many books, posters, and other doo-dads he was able to choose from. He's a happy fellow right now, and when Daniel is happy, we are all happy.

But then I read about people who are building homes, schools, and hospitals for those who have no place to live, study, or receive medical treatment. Wells are dug. Barns are raised. Children are first vaccinated and then educated. Sex workers are set free to care for themselves and their children.

But then I receive a telephone call from a friend who must stand for justice and dignity on behalf of homeless people she has been called upon to minister to. She asks me to pray that her heart and her lips will overflow with love, with grace, with patience, and with courage to speak boldly against injustice and invoke peace.

And tears flow again - but tears of joy this time, of pride, tears of gratitude that so many of us have what Barack Obama perfectly calls, "The Audacity of Hope."

Yes, that's right. The audacity to hope that peace is possible.
That hungry stomachs can be filled.
That wounded bodies and souls can be soothed.
That broken homes and hearts can be healed.
That money, when generously shared and thoughtfully invested,
can make a difference.
That these tears, these prayers,
these dreams, these few and humble gifts
are not offered into a void and formless universe.

The audacity to believe that there is a God
that He hears our prayers and answers them.
That He extends His healing hand of mercy and
heals us, restores us, transforms us,
and makes all things new.

A quiet week.
A hopeful week.
A joyful week.
A blessed week.
An abundant week.

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