Back in 2005 the hub loaded his table saw, planer and a bunch of other heavy woodworking equipment into a small u-haul. We were headed to Vero Beach, Florida with a group from the church we attended to help repair a church that had been damaged by a hurricane. Since the hub had major carpentry skills – and major equipment – he was in charge of that aspect of the trip.
I was in charge of activities for the church’s children.
While we were there we hosted nightly cookouts at a park near the Vero Beach church and invited its members to come, relax, eat and share their hurricane stories.
Because I thought sharing their stories might help.
Turns out it did. Turns out listening to their stories, hearing what they had been through was the best, most restorative thing we did all week.
It helps to know someone cares.
It was hallowed ground in a Lansing courtroom when Larry Nassar faced his victims. God bless Judge Aquilina for patiently giving each one of them the opportunity to tell their stories. God bless her for giving us the opportunity to listen compassionately.
It helps to be heard.
The White House recently invited community members and victims from Parkland, Florida as well as victims from the Columbine and Sandy Hook shootings to a listening session.
God bless our President for giving them a chance to speak and for giving us a chance to hear their hearts.
There are those who hate our President no matter what, who would refuse to give him a nod of credit for an act of compassion, who would refuse him the opportunity to speak and the opportunity to be heard with compassionate ears.
In their minds he is morally “less than” they and therefore he isn’t worthy of their compassion. They just want to see him destroyed.
Actions speak louder than words.
If we want our country to heal, and it’s looking like the collective “we” don’t, we’ll have to put down our self-righteous hate and pick up an olive branch. Or at least a hearing aid.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.