It has been difficult not to think about the events of last Friday. I could sit and be sad and angry and wring my hands over this awful tragedy, which I have in fact done. Only someone without a heart could not be affected by this senseless act. However I believe I can do things to make a difference and help myself through these grief stricken days while we watch so many young children and the adults who tried to save them being buried this week. Maybe it is something small or what appears to be insignificant, but I pray my small gesture helps one child or young person know they are loved, know they are appreciated. Too often I have walked past people and not acknowledged their existence.
Yesterday I took a moment while running outside to get a gift for a friend to smile and say hi to a young man who is home from college. I hope you know I am proud of you. I hope you know others are too, as I watched them take the time to talk to you and ask you, I’m sure, how college is going. We are all rooting for you!
I also watched 2 young girls around the age of 10 smiling and talking to each other about the gifts the one received from her secret pal. I don’t know these girls real well, but as they stood close by I took the time to notice them and say, “whatchaget? Whatchaget?”, and with even bigger smiles they moved closer and told me about what Ellie got and then Mya ran and got her bag to show me how her secret pal had taken the time to wrap each gift separately before putting them all in one bag together. I commented how much fun she would have opening each one and she smiled bigger. I hope she knows, that someone she doesn’t know right now loves her. If it wasn’t for the big heart of the Adult Sunday school leader Kathy, none of these children would have this experience of the Secret Pal. They are loved. They know Kathy loves them.
I also watched my own 10 year old, as his face lit up as adult after adult commented on what a great job he did in his performance as the Time Traveler in the 3rd through 6th grade play their teacher, Anne gives them the opportunity to write and star in each year. My son got quiet and shy, but the smile on his face said so much, and maybe he didn’t remembered to say thank you, or said it so quietly they may not have heard him, but he knew he was loved, loved by many. I hope these four young people knew that someone noticed them, someone loved them, and someone cared. Am I tooting my own horn to say that I was one of those people? Maybe, but so what! Witnessing their smiles, brought back some joy to my own sad heart. I also know there were so many other’s yesterday who did more than I to notice these children. They are all OUR children. Not just those we gave birth to. Yes there are times they may do things we don’t like, we get frustrated sometimes too easily, but if we take a moment not to just walk by, because we don’t know them and take the time to smile, say hi, maybe we can all make some small insignificant change in this bad world and make it a better place. I can only hope.