Posts Tagged ‘make a difference’

Love each otherLife seemed to take a wrong turn when her younger brother was diagnosed with cancer. Together, they relocated to Manhattan where some of the best treatments were available–far from the slower-paced, small town in Colorado. Physically distanced from family and friends and immersed in a world of sterile hospital rooms and uncompromising statistics, loneliness became an cloying companion.

Unwilling to foster an ongoing relationship with isolation, a determined                   twenty-something dialed the suicide hotline. She told the soothing voice on the other end of the line about her desperation. She spoke of a sense of worthlessness. Then, she explained the reason for the call.

Ready to break the chains of loneliness, Daniel Hernandez offered to step away from her own pain by embracing the stories belonging to others. For two years, Daniel volunteered as a voice of comfort and encouragement to the desperate and disillusioned, the hurting and the hopeless.

Is it possible loneliness is your unsolicited sidekick, as well? Does isolation invade the space of healthy relationship in your life ? Are you, perhaps, even coddling loneliness because of its familiarity? Or, when you look at others with the eyes of Christ do you notice the lonely ones? They are everywhere–hoping someone will take a moment to smile…engage…love like Jesus.

Today, I’m issuing a challenge. Friend, whether you are lonely or not–will you allow your struggle in the now to motivate you toward investing in someone’s tomorrow? You don’t need to be the voice on one end of a hotline to make a difference. Just take one simple step–invite a neighbor for coffee, ring up an old friend, plan a date night with your husband.

Let’s break the chains of loneliness.

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A momentary visit to an online population clock revealed this number— 7,386,695,958. On November 9, 2015 at approximately 8:20 p.m. there are more than 7 billion people on earth. Me? Not one in a million…not even one in a billion.

My life is small measured by numbers.

With fewer than 300 Facebook friends, no more than 75 people on my Christmas card list, just three or four people I could turn to in a major crisis, and with a life expectancy of about 80 years how can I expect to make a difference?

My life is small measured by social performance.

I haven’t earned any awards. I am not a Nobel Peace Prize winner or a Rhodes Scholar. I don’t have a Teacher of the Year Award to hang on the wall. I can’t even claim to be the PTA president. How can I expect to make a difference?


My life is small, but like most of us I long to make an impact…to change lives…to do something bigger and better than I ever imagined possible. But those differences? They aren’t discovered in the spotlight of self-adulation. Changing lives? That doesn’t happen tucked neatly behind the clean lines of a carefully maintained lawn and closed shades.

Impact…changed lives…something bigger than me? It happens in the showing up–in the obvious action of loving someone through their hard and in their hurt. Impact exists in the giving of more than we have and digs deep into the place of faith where Christ enables the more.

If my life—small by every measure—has any value it comes not in living inward. Living is about loving others large! It is the meal prepared after an exhausting week at work for a neighbor bent over in pain from a broken heart and bleeding soul. It is the giving of time to speak with the woman in a Home Depot parking lot—the one holding a sign that says, “Please help”—and you are human to her. It is in the doing and the joining our life with others. We just need to show up…to love outward…to give more of ourselves even until we’re empty.

And in that place? To that person? In that moment? Even one small person among billions makes a difference.

Scripture for Reflection:

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

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My husband usually wakes me with a cup of coffee and a kiss, but his blue and gold office tie lay in the chair next to the bed.   Yesterday, Dave caught the next flight to California where he’s donned the alter-ego of Commander Kennington.

As I usually do when he’s away, I awakened every hour last night–somehow afraid I’d miss the belching bar, bar, bar of the alarm clock.  I shouldn’t have been concerned.  My daughter lay next to me–a “sleep over” we had called it.  Her tiny leg stretched across mine and I marveled that my presence could give her such reassurance.  Little does she know that I’m afraid of the dark and the boys left the back door unlocked last night when they put the dog out.

The sounds of morning are beginning to stir outside the front window and in the fading dark I hear the occasional crunch of wheels as someone begins the trek to work.  I breathe in the peacefulness of quiet–it’s unusual for a house bursting with children and sports toys.  I’ve reveled in a three-day weekend; a break from the constant whir of demands and responsibilities of a mid-life mommy.  No sporting events.  No time cards.  No rush, rush, rush.

But today, I start again.  What is my attitude?  Do I seek respite with the intent of filling up on Jesus in order to serve others willingly?  If I’m honest, I’d rather stay in the warmth and safety of our little house baking chocolate chip cookies.  But, God has a design for this day that doesn’t include melting chocolate.  So today…chocolate or not…I’ll do what I can with what I have–just in case it matters.

Recommended Reading

http://www.amazon.com/She-Did-What-Could-SDWSC/dp/1414333781/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358860997&sr=8-1&keywords=she+did+what+she+could  She Did What She Could by Elisa Morgan

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