If you could do anything you wanted to do,
what would you do
for the thousands in Texas who have lost their possessions,
and life as they knew it,
a direct result of Hurricane Harvey or the flooding that followed?
The millions who are facing starvation in East Africa?
The children who will go to bed hungry tonight in your county?
The homeless in your city?
The almost 800, 000 DACA recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” who are at risk for deportation?
The needs of the world can overwhelm.
Tempting us to turn our eyes away,
shrug our shoulders.
Compassion and a sense of helplessness,
a heavy weight in our hearts and minds.
While we wrestle with,
struggle to identify
what we can do realistically for the many,
there is always something we can do for the one.
The person in front of us.
Ringing up our groceries.
Taking our dollars at the gas station.
Our articles of clothing at the dry cleaners.
Sitting next to us at the doctor’s office.
In our places of worship.
On the bus or train.
Living across the street.
Sitting across from us at the dinner table.
First and foremost,
we can pray.
And recognize consistently His image in them.
We can be kind.
Hold the door.
Ask how she is
and wait for a reply.
This is not an excuse not to seek out opportunities
to join with others working to change policy.
To make a difference beyond our immediate circles.
It is about redeeming the time we have.
Doing, to paraphrase the words of Theodore Roosevelt,
“What we can, with what we have, where we are.”
Remembering that we are pilgrims.
Passing from life to eternity.
It is about recognizing that even when we cannot do great, world changing things,
we can follow Mother Teresa’s admonition
“Small things with great love.”