Saturday, March 22, 2014

I heart you

Recently I noticed a new addition to the (sparsely decorated) wall above Leo and Pax's beds.  I asked Pax, "Who put that heart up on your wall?"
          "I did," he replied.  [using a ginormously sharp, oversized thumb tack]
"Um.... okay.  What made you decide to do that?"
          "Well, I put it up there because when I am feeling sad - like when I have to go to my room because I am in trouble - I can look at it and think about love."

Monday, March 3, 2014


We participated in our first 5K as a whole family this past weekend.  It was a wonderful community event for an exceptionally good cause - 100% of the proceeds from the race went directly to the day shelter that provides meals, showers, laundry facilities, job support, and more for the homeless population in the city.

Aidan and I jogged for most of the race, with Pax encouraging us from the stroller.  Leo and Jeff enjoyed a nice brisk walk together, and brisk it was - I had to break my "no running below 30 degrees" rule to participate in this event.  It was, in fact, below 20 at the start of the race, but we were not deterred - if anything, it made the race more poignant, knowing we had a warm, snug home to return to at the end.

The race was easy.  It was easy to pay the registration fee, to pick up the little goodies in our pre-race bag.  It was easy to gather with a few hundred others for the very friendly, informal "Go!" send off we got at the starting line.  It was an easy 3ish miles through some of the most beautiful parts of town.  At the end, we enjoyed homemade granola, healthy muffins, delicious fruit tarts, and bagels, all provided by the same volunteers who feed the homeless, day after day, at this shelter...

The hard part is more subtle.  The hard part is in the why.  The hard part is in unpacking with our children the complex and intricate details of why some people are homeless, and guiding them through understanding the inequalities of our wealthy nation.  The hard part is in how we teach our children to love and to accept all people with open hearts, full of compassion for humanity.  

I love this particular perspective:

"To be on mission is to have a heart full of compassion for people - to see them the way Jesus did... when we look - not glance, but look - we see the person, not the problem.  When we look at the person, we see that he or she matters to God and ought to matter to us.  When we look we see a person to be loved, not a problem to be handled.  Only when we look can we experience compassion."  (-Darrin Patrick)

The hard part is the Looking.