Yesterday when coming back from the grocery we were behind at school bus with a police car behind it. The bus stopped and we remained stopped. The bus didn’t move and we just sat there. In a few minutes the bus pulled forward and to the side of the road. Not being sure if to pass or not we drove alongside the police car. I put my window down to ask if we should pass. The police office said to go on by that they were delivering food.
It made me feel good. The school buses are not being used right now and what a wonderful thing to do. Obviously the county where we live has decided to use the police, when they are available, and the school bus drivers are not working. This helps everyone.
This shows me that our community is finding ways to help those who can’t get out to get needed supplies.
It seems that this pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in people. I have heard stories and seen people hoarding things with not thought for others. I have also seen neighbors getting food for people at risk and offering whatever support is needed.
This quote from Charles Dickens seems to sum it all up:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
― A Tale of Two Cities
This says it all and fits as well today as when it was written. It sums up succinctly everything that is going on. All the foolishness, all the wisdom, all the greedy people, all the giving people.
Nothing seems to have changed since the time of Dickens.
Today we went to see the movie 1917. I am not fond of war movies but my husband wanted to see it. I don’t want to talk about the movie but something that came to me while watching.
Another war….how many since? Why are we this way? Why do we go to war rather than solve problems? Why are we greedy and selfish? Why do we hate those who are not like us? Why are we not loving and kind and compassionate?
Did we start out that way or did we grow into it? And the real question is what can we do to change?
Lots of questions and no real answers. Rilke’s quote tells us to live in uncertainty and wait for answers.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rainer Maria Rilke
I hope that he is right and that some day, somehow, a miracle will occur and the earth will be a place of peace and love.
Our church makes up bags of goodies for homeless people. It has a variety of items in it…some food items, hygiene things (like toothbrush) and a $5.00 bill. I try to have one in my car at all times. Several places that I stop at a light there are people wanting a hand out of some sort. Every single person that I hand a bag to has said “thank you and God bless you.” I know the bags don’t solve the problem but even small things can make a difference.
If you can manage it keep something in your car to give to those in need. It doesn’t have to be as complex as what the church makes up but it will be received with gratitude. I have a friend that has some small food items she carries. For those who are hurting anything will help. Add a note with a kind thought to it. “God loves you, you are important, you matter.” Whatever you can come up with. Those notes do make a difference.
Today seemed lost. My friend’s husband ended up in the hospital and I spent the day sitting in halls, cafeteria, wherever waiting for answers. Because of the flu outbreak they are only letting one person in at a time. I found places to stay away from the sick, read, knit and watch things on my Kindle. It was a day for kind thoughts and waiting.
We arrived there about 10:30 and got some answers at 4:00 pm. He has a kidney infection and will be kept over night and assessed in the morning. I hope they send him home as the hospital is a source of infections.
So often I have struggled with what I am needed to do in my retirement but I think this day puts it in place. I am able to drop everything to be with a friend and that is something special. I am doing what is needed.
Sometimes it is hard to see what is right in front of us. We all want to do something that “counts.” Counts how? Something that everyone sees? That is not what is important. Important is answering a need. Important is being there. So no one knows this is how I spent my day. It doesn’t matter. I was there when needed.
Be there for someone’s needs.
A number of years ago my husband and I had a house that we rented. Some people moved in and at first it was perfect. They paid rent on time and the house (from the outside) looked good.
As time went on the husband told us that his wife was sick and they would be late with the rent. This went on with them occasionally paying something on the rent. My husband and I felt sorry for them to be going through such a tough time.
Then it got to where they were paying no rent but continued to tell us their many problems. We were worried but we were too kind to put them out. Two of their grown sons came and went along with other relatives. Now we were more worried. Then one day they came and told us they were moving. This actually was a relief. They left and we went into the house. Things were damaged everywhere. It took much money and lots of work on our part to fix the house up to rent again. We later learned that the sons were selling drugs from the house.
Now we could haunt ourselves with how stupid we were to let this happen. And you are right…we shouldn’t. But here’s the thing…we consider ourselves to be good people….worthy of being called Christian and that is how we live. We wouldn’t let that happen again but they were the bad people not us.
I know that they left saying how dumb we were but being told of the wife’s illness ( and she really was sick) we lived out our commitment to be compassionate. It gives us a twinge once in a while but we lived what we believe.
I have several friends who have had cancer and are in remission. When this happens people begin to see them as back to normal. Most people are unaware of how much courage is involved in continuing to move forward. There are periodic scans and you have to wait for results. It can be a time of nail biting and stress.
Chemotherapy also can have devastating consequences. The medicines that make you well can also cause major problems with the well systems in your body. There are many things that can go wrong from failure of other organs to hair, skin, teeth problems. It is not an easy path.
Hopefully the future will bring us closer to our own immune system removing the cancer from our body without hurting anything else.
Remember those who struggle with the aftermath of cancer treatment. They need our continuing compassion and support.
Truth may be vital but without love it is unbearable. from “The Two Popes.”
We can get ourselves into a moral dilemma sometimes. We may find out something that we feel we need to tell someone but it may destroy their world. What to do?
Information is important but so is caring about others. It is just hard to know when to share that information and when not to. What if you know that someone is having an affair and you are friends with the other spouse? To tell or not tell…..that is the question.
There are lots of other moral scenarios where we may be called to judge if telling is worth the harm it can cause. Truth is good but love has to be considered.
The days have been dark, rainy and cold. Not fun for me. I am sun oriented. Tomorrow should be better. Last night I went out to a party for the first time since surgery. What I learned was it was too soon. It is so hard to remember that we do need time to heal. I am so used to being constantly on the go that I don’t seem to be able to stop.
It was a good lesson and I will be more careful. Christmas is a busy time and one that makes it hard to slow down.
We also had a dreadful experience this morning. We heard our two bassets outside barking and howling frantically. When we checked that were facing a raccoon. Raccoons are not out in the daytime here and to have one not only out but challenging our dogs was a bad omen. My husband and I went out. I corralled the dogs and he approached the coon who did not run away. Also very unusual. It was very obvious that the coon was very sick. Couldn’t walk well, was disoriented and shaking as if with some sort of palsy.
The population of raccoons around us has had a problem with rabies and distemper. The raccoon was in distress and I suspect from his behavior it was distemper. He was going to die …and soon. He was at risk for encountering other neighborhood dogs who would also be at risk so my husband took the best outcome and shot him. We both felt so bad but it was best for everyone. We both hate killing anything and have both been sad about it but there was little choice. He would have died in pain and fear.
We are both animal lovers and want the best for any animal. We have near us a sanctuary for local wildlife. My husband spoke with them and they said what was done was best. It helps but we still feel bad.
I love the church season of Advent. Not because of all the hoopla leading up to Christmas. Advent doesn’t feel red and green like Christmas. For me it feels blue. A beautiful, peaceful, serene blue. I imagine pictures with stars and the stable with the infant Jesus. I see calm and deep peace. I love listening to Christmas music and singing along. I suppose because the music plays at this time instead of the weeks of Christmas leading to Epiphany.
Advent is a time for expecting. The world is pregnant with hope. People seem kinder, more giving, more open. It is sad that we can’t remain this way all year long. We need to learn from this period of expectation that things can be better. We can be more caring of others. We can live together in peace. Let’s make it so.