Today a 96 year old matriarch in our community turned her sedan in front of a full sized pick up and she didn't come out on top. I held her hand, and held her sweet, bleeding face together and she smiled at me with broken cheeks and a broken nose and what was left of her jaw and told me that her ankle hurt. She joked about her first helicopter ride as we loaded her into the bird, and as she flew to Spokane where several dozen family members where already enroute to seige the hospital hallways for her, I prayed. I prayed that her tiny, broken little body would be healed by her sparkly spirit. That her light green eyes would burn through all of the injuries to hang on to life just a little longer. So that she could leave this earth on Her Terms. I prayed that I could be that woman. Strong. Joyful. Grateful.
This has been a week. A week that words aren't enough for. In my own small family and beyond. Days and events that no length or complexity of language can compress into something that would make any sense. So much wonderment at the pain of truth. So much sadness at the reality of time. So much anger at injustice. At the suffering of people. At the success of others who should not dare look success in the eye. At the failure of the Truly Worthy. At my own lack of control. At the helplessness of us, as mortals, to make anything right that is truly wrong, and the potential of us, as mortals, to make the terribly wrong things bearable.
This week I am learning grace. I am learning hope. I am learning trust. This week I have discovered that there is not a choice for us other than to fight the evil we see and embrace the beauty we find. I am learning that in the scariest, ugliest, most surprising moments, there is joy. There is hope. There is something for me. For my children. My friends. That life, with all of its horror and frustration, is amazing, that every scar has it's strength and that every day has it's purpose.
Everything is out of my control. And that is exactly how I want it. Let Bigger Hands than mine embrace the suffering. Heal the wounded.
I saw something that said that helping others + your gifting = purpose. It's so simple. But so very true. Find what you love. What fills your soul. What becomes beautiful in your hands and use it to make this world a better place. There is no better mandate. To be fruitful with the passion you are given. To multiply your talent to the betterment of everyone you touch. This is the Great Commision: Go into the world. Use what you are given. Make it Better.
I pray that if I am given 96 years that I will have a soul to represent each one of them: to stand as a witness that I gave them a smile. A hand. A dinner. A poem. A beer. A hug. A lecture. A wad of gauze on a bleeding wound. A stinging medicine for a quick recovery. I pray that my giftings, whatever they are, are multiplied by my years, and my fruitfulness is measured not by the number of my offspring, but the imprint that I leave on everyone I touch. I pray that I can smile through a broken face and bring joy where there is none.
This has been a week.