For every dark night. For every terrible, haunting nightmare that turns out to be true. For every heart ache and gut-busting tragedy. For every awful, unthinkable, petty, useless, act of unkindness. There is a rip tide of wonder.
There are elementary school teachers who go back to work, to sad hallways and children with big, anxious feelings. There are doctors who deliver new babies and nurses who swaddle the mothers in peace and gentleness and wipe away the sweat and the doubt and the dark stains.
There are strangers who stand up for grandmas and grandpas on trains. There are police officers who direct traffic and wave at the kids. There are fellow shoppers who smile at tired babies. There are men and women who ring bells in the cold outside store fronts to bring peace and hope to a few more families.
There are husbands who take out the trash and kids who pick up their room after only the fourth request. There are baby sitters who always go the extra mile and wash the dishes. There are neighbors who stop by just because and friends who bring their kids over to play. There are writers who offer their words like a vigil to drive back the dark. There are promises of snow.
There are cashiers who add an extra cookie for the youngest of your three children who really doesn’t need her own yet. There are next-door-boys who help corner the dog when she jumps the fence. Again. There are neighbors who call when you leave the mini van door open. Again. There are volunteers who teach first graders about Monet.
There are friends who make you laugh by pointing out the typos in their own Christmas newsletters or the expiration date on the candy they just gave out at a white elephant gift exchange. There are colleagues who send quirky emoticons at the end of a long day. There are Tuesday night friends who text to say they’ve been thinking of you and Sunday morning kid’s ministry directors who always remember the ins and outs of what matters to your children.
There are pastors who preach faithfully.
There are writers.
There are artists.
There are car poolers and bed-tuckers-in and fever-soothers. There are slow dancers around the kitchen sink when the kids are in bed. There are believers.