But even good needs to be balanced with some healthy resistance. 'Cuz life is so much bigger than us.
There's a scene from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre that I love. After a painful childhood of neglect and unwant, Jane finds herself valued. For the first time in her life she is treated as an equal by her employer, Mr. Rochester. Equals become friends and hearts blossom into a love that seems impossible. She faces an uncertain future as he entertains aloud the obligations he faces to marry another woman. And her heart, strong now from love, writhes:
Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!
Small and obscure. Poor and little. Unwanted. Uncared for. Unloved. Unnoticed. Cold, harsh realities that describe life for so any people around our world. People equal to us in every way but in opportunity. People we forget all about as we live in the lostness of our own families, tucked in safe beds at night.
Love turns the whole thing around.
Brave, risky love steps forward to defend the weak against the strong, against those fat on power and position. Organizations like WAR, International (Women At Risk), the International Justice Mission (IJM), and charity: water are becoming dear to my heart. They square shoulders and dive into deep waters of pain to pull people out, to provide, to protect, to infect those broken lives with hope. Practically meeting needs. And I love them for it.
How can you not?
Much, much more to come on these organizations. I'm excited to continue to share what I discover. In the mean time, check them out (WAR, International / charity: water / The International Justice Mission.) They'd offer some great ideas for Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, birthdays, etc. Help them love the obscure. Give. Volunteer. Help them speak for the voiceless. Pray. Spread the word.
I read a story last month about an American couple who adopted brothers from Russia some years back. When they entered the orphanage, they were stunned by the silence. Rooms of babies quietly rocking themselves in their cribs, wooden slats knocking on the walls of their loveless home. The soon-to-be-daddy remarked that after a while of going unheard, even babies will quit crying out. They know no one is coming for them.
Pain throws hearts to the ground. But love? Love turns it all around. We are blessed to bless. 'Cuz life is bigger than us...
We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.(Mother Teresa)