17 December 2012

[shalom: Seven Years.]

December 17th sneaks up me sometimes ... every year is different.  Sometimes I actually forget.  Other years I feel it waiting to pounce on me, sucking my very breath from within.

Today Shalom would be seven.  Well ... that's a little skewed - as she was due in May, but born December 17th.  So ... she would've been seven in May, I guess.  But today is her birthday ... and today I remember her.

I find it interesting how time has a beautiful way of putting things into perspective ... while the loss of my unborn daughter was massive, it is obvious to me that there are those who's loss is still far greater.

With the tragedy of the kindergarten slayings in America so recent, I think we are all holding our children a little tighter - and being so incredibly grateful for food in their tummies and a safe place to lay their head.  Because the truth is, tragedy is all around us - every day.  And a public shooting, as horrific as it is and as brutal and evil as it seems, children of the world are in slavery, in bondage, in illness, in hunger ... in hell.  Every day.  The loss is unfathomable. 

The problem is so big that when you stop to think about it - it can hurt your brain to the point where you want to yell, " I give up!!" ... but as I was thinking about this post, I was reminded that the small things we choose to do, DO matter ... and tho it may not seem "hero" like in its size, to those whom you touch - you are a hero.

Mattias was my hero recently, when he presented a cheque to our BC Children's Hospital.  Yes - I did a lot of the work ... he's eight, for pete's sake *smile* ... but the heart behind our plan was all his.  He manned a lemonade stand at our garage sale - pouring cups of yummy juice "by donation" ... and he learned about the generosity of others.

He learned that manning a lemonade stand all day was a lot of work, too.

And when we went to the hospital to deliver the cheque, he learned of a place where children were sick and families were sad.  He also learned of a place that dedicated everything it did, to help others.  To make the sick - well, the sad - happy ... the weak - strong.  

The $500 he collected won't do much - but it will do something.   He learned how he could be a part of something grand ... and to simply do the part he was called to do.  The broken and sick are all around us ... we can all do something.  Nothing is too small.

And after our meeting, we went to visit Shalom's tile.  My parents donated it, back when we lost our sweet, tiny girl.    The wall is full of names - not as a memorial, as these are not all tiles of those who did not survive.    It was awe inspiring to read the names, to remember those who were too sick to live, and to see the names of children who would possibly be in hockey or gymnastics now ... 

Such a  tangible way to see how donated money helps.  

I know that through someone else's donations, because of their heart to help in whatever way they could - our lives were deeply impacted during such a traumatic time. 

So ... today as I think back on how seven years has healed me, taught me, and brought me closer to Him, I am actually thankful for the experience of losing Shalom.  I am grateful for the three glorious children that He has entrusted to me, and I know what a gift they truly are.   My heart is full of joy in teaching them about being generous and having a heart for others.    As my pastor said in his Sunday sermon, having joy doesn't mean that I'm dancing a jig every day ... my joy that comes from Him is DESPITE the junk that this fallen world dishes out.

I will cry for Shalom Hope today ... I will cry for who she could've been and the hole that my heart will forever have ... but I have such joy because my life in Him surpasses any loss or heartache.  

My story is not over, there will be more pain to come in this life.  Just like those parents who lost their little one on Friday morning.  They will mourn, they will forever be changed.  But my prayer is that others will rise up around them, do what they are able, and that JOY will reign.

So my thought today is this ... do something for someone else - you never know how it will impact them ... a few kind words,  paying for the lady behind you in the Starbucks line, stopping to take the shopping cart from the mom with two kids in the Costco parking lot ... We are all called to such "hero" things every day.  And to have joy in doing it - despite what our lives look like at the moment.  Joy despite our circumstance, despite our loss, despite how unfair things may seem to be ... 

Because the Word says the JOY of the Lord is our strength ... and through choosing His joy, we can be "heros" every day.

Have a great one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heartfelt read. You put things so nicely