I was having a good morning. I took care of my animals, and did some heavy-duty trimming. Then I harvested some herbs and sat for a bit in the sun, humming bits of the hymn, “This Is a Day of New Beginnings…”
Then I saw the headlines.
I don’t watch news at night. I sleep badly enough, thank you. So I had been in blissful unawareness of the carnage in Las Vegas. At first, all I could do was cry, crushed by the all-too-familiar sense of utter helplessness. What can we possibly do to stop this, or even to help those directly affected? How was I even supposed to go about my own day, now? How could I settle down to write nice little curriculum for children, teaching them about stewardship–that we and all things belong to God, and we will be happy if we take care of all God’s stuff (including people) God’s way–as if, since it didn’t happen to me, it didn’t matter?
Fortunately, Yom Kippur and all its blessings are right behind me. And on that day, two days ago, I read that our hurtful acts literally damage the fabric of the universe, and our loving acts can heal that fabric. I believe that’s true. Before Yom Kippur, the tradition is to ask forgiveness of every person you’ve wronged. But it’s clear that we will never remember everything. So we are encouraged to do some good work for someone–to help to heal the universe we hurt, even though it may not touch the same bruised spot.
So I thought, what if each one of us tried to bless as many people as we could today and in the coming days? It could never make up for the ones who are lost, each a unique child of the Holy (and not really lost, either, but it sure feels like it to their families!) It won’t likely touch the same bruises or close the same wounds. But it will offer healing.
I even thought, what if we could each bless 50 people for the (current) number who have died? Or better yet, 110–for every one they kill, let’s love two! Is that even realistic? And it dawned on me–my stewardship curriculum might touch hundreds or even thousands of children. Among other things, it will teach that we are to steward each other, too. Maybe some of us come in contact with 100 or even more people over the course of the day. Maybe if we all pour out as much love as we can on as many people as we can, some healing will occur.
And..if you know anyone you even think might possibly be lonely or angry or isolated or frustrated…this would be a good day to reach out to that person and pour on some love.
It feels small. It feels silly to think one person’s love could make a dent in the tsunami of violence we seem to be drowning in. But it’s all I can think of. And it might do far more than we could ask or imagine.