Every night since Sandy Hook, my 6 year old son has uttered essentially the same prayer. “Please bless all the people and all the earth that no bad things will happen and that everyone will be OK.” Clearly this last week (and many of the weeks prior) this prayer has not felt answered. He doesn’t know what the world has dealt with in recent days. But his older sisters do. And like every other family, it has weighed heavily on us.
The Boston Marathon finish line bombed and an entire city stopped in its tracks. A tiny town called West in Texas, blown apart. A cafe in Kabul with 27 coffee drinkers killed and more than a hundred others injured. An earthquake in China killing almost 200 and injuring more than 10,000 people. The natural and the unnatural tragedies swirl into each other and mix with our own reactions of fear and confusion and helplessness. Where does it stop? And how do we make sense of it all? Perhaps the short version is that we don’t. We can’t. But we do have options.
My inspirational friend, Casey Mullins, has chosen her own way to fight back. A writer and photographer, Casey has started a campaign she’s entitled #LookForTheLovely — to record and share the glimpses of every day beauty and bliss that surround us. These moments are everywhere and they are there all the time. We simply must look for them. It’s in the searching that we begin to turn sadness to moments of joy.
I took my kids to Washington DC for Spring Break. It wasn’t a vacation week for me, but as I worked whilst they went to various museums and parks, we met for lunches and afternoon ice cream breaks. We saw some family and friends. I took them to one of my favorite clients’ offices and my colleagues fussed over them while I had a couple of impromptu meetings in the lobby! They got to explore Philadelphia while I attended a conference. On Sunday we spent the day at church and snuggling on the couch. Regrouping with touch and rest and conversation. Renewing with prayer and faith and knowing that whilst God does not orchestrate all the details of each individual’s choices, He is as much a part of our lives as we’ll allow. There were many, many, many moments to #LookForTheLovely.
Looking out into the world, both in my own community and across the planet, gives me the strength and courage to make sense of the madness. How? Because I see all the incredible progress being made on the world’s big problems. I see how alike mothers and fathers and people are around the world. I see this and this and this. And despite the horrors and evils that are very real, I also see goodness and inspiration. I can’t keep all the people in all the world safe. I can’t even keep my family safe. But I will hope. I will go forward with faith. And I will in my own way, look for the lovely.