My plan for Monday was to run errands, do laundry, get some work done and bake pumpkin bread.
On Sunday night, as per usual, I placed my online grocery order and made sure to get the large can of pumpkin.
Then, I woke up on Monday morning to the news of the horrific act of violence in Las Vegas. I sat there in the darkness at 6am staring at the television, knowing my kids would soon wake up and come downstairs and I would have to try to explain to them what was happening. To attempt, for their benefit, to make sense out of something so senseless.
I felt paralyzed. My body didn’t want to move. The magnitude of what I was watching was like a weight holding me in place.
But, my kids needed breakfast. They needed to get to school. I needed to pick up my groceries.
What do we do in these moments? How do we try to do things that are so normal when everything in the world seems anything but?
Upon returning home, I unloaded the bags from my car and quickly turned the news on again, keeping an ear towards the latest while robotically putting the groceries away.
And then I pulled out the large can of pumpkin. Should I still bake today? It seems so frivolous. So pointless. People lost their lives. Others have injuries that will impact how they live out the rest of their years here on earth. Loved ones are grieving.
How can I bake pumpkin bread at a time like this?
But, then I thought, how couldn’t I?
When there is so much that we can’t control, we need to control the things we can.
Yes, we mourn with those who are mourning. And, of course, we pray.
But in times of crisis I also need to feel that I’m actually doing something.
As a family we’ve been watching a show on Netflix called ‘The Kindness Diaries’. I wish I could describe just how deeply it has resonated with us and how many amazing conversations with our children have occurred as a result of this show. We’ve even begun to do some fun top-secret kindness experiments together.
One of the things that always stands out to me in each episode is the reminder of how important it is that we not only look for moments of light in the midst of the darkness, but how even MORE important it is that we, ourselves, take the initiative to create the moments of light. How we are called to embody the love of our Heavenly Father and convey that love to others through our words and deeds.
“For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
Later on this week our contributor Julie will be sharing with us some beautiful homes all decorated for fall. And, in the wake of recent events, it can just seem so frivolous to talk about pumpkins and leaves falling. But, here’s what I believe.
I believe that we must continue to celebrate the beauty of this world and point people to the ONE who is sovereign over it all in order to combat the fear and the sin and the ugliness. I believe that when things seem so insurmountable, so big, we need to go smaller, simpler.
So, yesterday, I didn’t just bake one loaf of bread. I baked two, plus a dozen muffins. Because, I can think of a couple of friends who are in a stressful season of life right now and would be so surprised to find baked goodies on their doorstep.
It seems small. It seems simple.
But, this, this is what I can control. This is what I can do.
I can encourage. I can bless. I can offer a helping hand. I can give. I can be available.
So, I ask you friends, what can YOU do this week to bring light into the darkness? Let’s take some time to brainstorm and encourage each other as we journey through this together.
Much love to all of you and thank you for meeting me at the fence today,