Two days of thought-provoking, soul-searching conversations filled with laughter and tears and wishing that “what is” could be better and dreaming of how we can make it so…..
and returning with a jolt to the real world of laundry and dishwashers with broken baskets and worrying over food allergies all over again and struggling to understand how your children have more cavities and wishing just this once this child could understand the assignment and get it done without all the struggles–
and all those first world kind of problems.
It would be easy to get on my pity pot and look upon all of this as an interruption.
An interruption to where my mind is going–thinking of what can be done, must be done, to make the world a better place–an interruption to the wheels spinning and all the IMPORTANT things that I MUST DO.
And then, just in the nick of time, I got an e-mail from one of my heroes.
One of the reasons he is my hero is I can look to him for a way to understand things, a way to take action–he sets a good example, and he is willing to share about his experiences so we can all learn from them.
Hugh Hollowell sent out a newsletter titled “The Interruptions Are Our Work.”
He was spot on with this one–timing and everything.
This man who shared his ideas and laughter and inspired me to dig deeper as we talked and listened Sunday and Monday–he continued on into Thursday.
And for that I am thankful.
Because, my friends, no matter what grand thoughts Sunday and Monday call you to have and think upon, Thursday will come. With its laundry and coughs and worries and cavities. It will come.
And here is the grace for Thursday, in the words of Hugh Hollowell of Love Wins Ministry:
“But I have come to see that that is okay. In fact, it’s good. Because more than ever, I can see that the interruptions to my work, the people who interrupt my work, well, they actually are my work. And there’s much work to be done.”
I do not mean to make light of the work that my friend and his staff are doing in North Carolina with people who are dealing with homelessness. But I do find comfort in these words. The interruptions are my work.
In this season.
For far too short a time, these little people and their needs–their meals, their learning, their dirty clothes, their laughter, and regretfully, yes, even their cavities–this is my work.
And I’m privileged to do it. I just need a wake up call every now and again to remind me of that.
Today I read a comment in the world of social media that made me very sad. This person wrote that caring for my children, for my home, for my aging parents, for an elderly relative–these things are not contributing to society. He/she continued on to say that if I were out in the world caring for people who were not my own, whom I wasn’t “obligated” to care for, only then could it really be said that I am contributing to society.
It made me sad because I don’t think this person gets it. And he or she obviously has never had the privilege and joy of hearing David LaMotte and Hugh Hollowell speak. I distinctly heard them say that caring for those in our own homes, own families–that’s a part of changing the world for the better.
Tonight I’m thankful for that message. For the knowing in my heart that what I’m doing matters–and I’m thankful that when I lose sight of that message–I can open up an email from my hero and mentor and read that all of these things that I think might be interruptions of the “important work” there is to do–
This is my important work.
Know this, my friends, what you are doing today matters.
I’m sorry, did you miss that? Read it with me.
Whether you are wiping runny noses or signing paychecks
whether you are singing “Let It Go” with your child for the 1,267th time
or planning a going away for a colleague
whether you are reading a book
or writing one
whether you are knitting a dress for your granddaughter’s doll
or buying one at the GW Boutique for your neighbor’s friend
WHAT YOU ARE DOING TODAY MATTERS.
The smile you choose to put on your face, in spite of your worries
The hug you give your grandmother who has aged so much since you last saw her
The friend you are driving to the doctor’s office
The cup of coffee you just rang up for the customer with the bad attitude and no cash for tips
The person you just let merge in front of you in traffic
The change you just dropped in the jar for the family in need
The song you carry in your heart
The shoulder you offer for others to lean and cry on
The laughter you share with another over a memory or joke
WHAT YOU ARE DOING TODAY MATTERS.
No matter where you are, what you are doing. It is changing the world.
You don’t get a choice in that.
But you do get a choice in how it matters. Whether it changes life for those around you for the better or not.
Even if they seem not to notice it.
It still matters.
Make it good.
Love to all.
Hugh Hollowell’s newsletter can be read in its entirety here. I highly recommend signing up to receive those in your inbox. You never know when they might change your day. For the better.