I’ve been deliberating for days about how to open this post. But since the words won’t come I’ll just say this to whomever you are who needs to hear it: “Here’s what you’re doing right.”
You might be having doubts about doing anything right.
I get it because I’ve been there….recently.
Sitting at an intersection wondering if my daily life is making any difference at all.
Maybe you’re concerned about a loved one, a difficult job, a good friend with personal troubles, or the general state of the nation or world….something along these lines. These things may keep you up at night. You never seem to have the right words of consolation and don’t know what to do. Despite your best efforts you can’t shake the feeling that your days are fits and starts – that you are not making any real progress in helping anyone toward a better future.
If that’s the case let me tell you what I saw sitting there at the intersection, listening to those negative voices in my head that threaten to bring me down if I don’t beat them back with a huge stick at every turn.
Within 30 seconds, I spotted two things: a man on the sidewalk giving directions to a driver who had pulled over onto the shoulder; and a woman stop to pick up a black garment hanging over a metal railing. She unfolded the garment and I saw that it was a sweater. Her face lit up with surprise and delight. Clearly, it was hers – a lost item now found.
The man giving directions….the unknown person who placed that lost sweater on the railing where it would be visible….they have something in common: they performed the simple, good, and oh-so-important deed of showing up.
And whether you realize it or not, whether you feel like you’re doing anything of note or not – you are doing this one important thing too.
You are showing up.
I am showing up.
When it feels like we are making no progress, no forward steps, no visible change – but we continue to get out of bed and live each day with kind intentions – however small, however feeble – we are showing up.
We are showing up when we hold a door open to a stranger, offer kind words to a grumpy cashier, call a friend we know is lonely, and even make a bit of room to the poor driver shoving his/her way into our lane just before the exit.
We are showing up when we keep to our routines, such as predictably shuttling and feeding kids, day in and day out. It creates for them a sense of security and safety that gives them freedom to explore, knowing they have a haven, a refuge to come back to when the world seems cold.
We are showing up in our workplaces when we collaborate with our colleagues, are enthusiastic and thoughtful, and contribute energy and ideas that fuel success.
We are showing up in our neighborhoods, towns, states, and nation when we vote, write our representatives, and make ourselves heard. And that matters – because whether we see the fruit of our efforts now or later, generations are watching and taking their cues from us. Our ideas and our voices – they matter.
And most importantly, we are showing up when we meet every single person who crosses our paths today with eye contact, sincere regard, and kindness – when we see them for who they are – children of a loving Creator who made each of us unique and dearly beloved.
When we love one another as God calls us to love ourselves – unconditionally – that REALLY matters.
You, friend, are doing this. You are SHOWING UP in your life.
So you are doing the most important thing of all.
Rest in this. Be easy on yourself today.