August has shown us the best of humanity, and through tears of joy and sorrow, it has offered us hope. We so desperately need hope. We need to believe in the goodness of the human spirit, in what unites us all – our raw, deep down humanity, our will to survive and thrive.
Earlier this month, we saw people lining up, camping, and gazing skyward in unity at the beauty and wonder of the eclipse. Caught up in the awe of nature, of science, of God’s creation. We now see people launching boats in streets swollen with water to rescue strangers, animal rescuers descending to make room for displaced critters, and people around the world donating in ways big and small to help those in South Texas with hurricane Harvey. It is these images that give us hope.
Admittedly, this Texas farmgirl has been glued to the news in the mornings and evenings, keeping a watchful eye on my Twitter feed throughout the day, and checking on friends in Houston as they wait and watch. Doing my best to go through the workday, but in the back of my mind thinking all the while about what is important in this life. Watching as the dogs and cats and horses and donkeys laze around the farm unaware of the world in peril, getting some sort of peace observing their peace and knowing Cowboy and I would do anything to safeguard our little zoo.
My faith in God is such an important part of my personal journey, and continues to grow and expand as I watch these beautiful moments when we come together with the best that we are, offering all that we have in order to help a fellow soul.
When I first sat down to write this post, I wanted to talk about how we’ve all gotten into an us vs. them mentality, and how it is pulling us apart. How at some point, all of us are part of a them group to someone.
Even today as my fellow Texans are fighting to survive, I watched as ultra conservative religious leaders took the opportunity to launch the Nashville Statement – targeted to isolate and condemn our LGBTQ friends and those of us who love them. And again, my heart broke as all I could think was, “Really? Seriously? This is what we are spending our time on? Why oh why are we not lifting up our neighbors? Jesus was and is the ultimate in love, and we are so missing the point.”
And while I could argue until I am out of breath as to why this latest attempt to divide us is wrong and heartbreaking and ill timed on so many levels, it’s become clear to me that we simply cannot give hate or those who look to divide us any more airtime. It is enough. Silence may be our greatest gift to each other. If no one is listening to the dividers, then they no longer become dividers, and we become the uniters.
The beauty of our world is that we can all communicate quickly, loudly, and hopefully thoughtfully. The curse is that we can all communicate quickly, loudly, and if not careful not so thoughtfully.
So as we watch the tragedies that surround us, let us share the beautiful stories. Let us link our hands with our neighbors in comfort and solidarity. Let us remember that there is far more good than evil. We just have to make our voices thoughtfully and beautifully heard.
P.S. If like me you grew up in a church that had a limited view of love and are looking for a breath of fresh air, might I suggest checking out Love Wins by Rob Bell. You might just find a little respite for your soul.
P.P.S. There are lots of ways to help those who have suffered and are suffering from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Whether you want to help families, babies, the elderly, or critters find a spot that speaks to your heart and offer your hand. See list from Texas Monthly. #TexasStrong
P.P.P.S. For all of those who have checked on us at the farm during this storm, thank you for thinking of us. The farm was never in danger, as we are several hours from the coast. However, knowing you care means a lot. God bless!
P.P.P.P.S. A version of this post was published in the Glen Rose Reporter. This farmgirl is delighted to serve as a community columnist.