18 Dec 2012

When you’re looking for something good again, it’s not as far as you might think

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.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    A lovely, gentle reminder that God is not done yet … and that He is in the business of showing mercy and grace, especially during this time of need … and all we’ve got to do is look around just a bit to spy His sweet, loving presence just waiting to enfold us, and hold us close. Real close.

  2. 2

    Oh my– this is just lovely, and a balm for my sad soul. Thank you.

  3. 3

    Yes. I was back t my school yesterday. It is heartbreaking, but what keeps us alive maybe, that no matter how horrible the tragedy life just keeps going on.

  4. 4

    A beautiful reminder that life goes on, and people are good. Thanks for this.

  5. 5

    Beautiful. For some reason I especially love the line about kids picking up only after the forth reminder. I think I’ll remember to be thankful for that today. It’s good to be thankful.

  6. 6

    And there are gifted writers with big huge mommy hearts who remind us in the darkness that there is God….the Hope and Love that shines bright all around us. Thank you, Lisa-Jo for being that reminder to so many of us!

  7. 7

    You’re right… Thank you. : )

  8. 8

    Just yesterday I was at the Starbucks drive thru and when I drove up to the window, the Batista told me the client in front already paid for my coffee. Little gestures like these and the ones you wrote about helps us heal from the aweful tragedy that occurred on Friday. I don’t comment a lot but I love reading your blog. Thank you. Angie

  9. 9

    Exactly!!!!! So very, very true! I am so grateful for so much…even with the tragedy my own family has gone through this year. God is still good. He is at work. I am amazed at how His love is showering over my family through precious new and old friends. How He draws us closer to Him and each other. And how after what these precious folks went through, He gathered them into His arms and welcomed them into eternity with Him in heaven.

    Thanking God through the Tears is so important…He is always with us and in all circumstances, He is with us and we are called to give thanks.

  10. 10

    And the there is Lisa-Jo and Five Minute Friday who we all miss …. but pray that she would have a Five Week Rest!

  11. 11

    Dear Lisa-Jo,
    this post made me cry for so many reasons. For the beauty that flooded me reading your words. For the sorrow and the yearning over what kind of a place we can make the world if we choose to – the most terrible and the most wonderful, just by paying attention to the right or wrong things. It also made me cry on a personal level, for all the time I am spending paying attention to the wrong things.
    I am not even a mom, I subscribed to your newsletter because I wanted to send my friend, who has a one year old now, your e-book. But I now love your posts so much. Your wisdom is so relevant to all of us humans, and to me – because I feel that all the lessons you share about life, our place in it – or rather the struggle to find it – and the most important thing there is: the connection to others and oneself – are lessons we are all learning, and struggling with, and triumphing with, and failing and getting up again and again with and they are what makes life so awe-inspiring and so big that sometimes you con’t help but just cry with sadness, joy and thanks for it all.

    Thank you for being so courageous and generous to share all of this with us.

  12. 12

    Beautiful words, Ms. Lisa Jo. Beautiful.

  13. 13

    The darkness, the evil wins when it succeeds in stealing our peace, in changing the way we live our lives. There is still so much good in the world, by grace and redemption. This is not to make light of tragedy or grief, but to provide hope that tomorrow will be brighter, that we can and should look forward to better days ahead and that even now in the midst of tragedy we can see the darkness beginning to fade and light shining through.
    Christmas is just days after the Winter Solstice (the longest day of the year). When the world is at its darkest, we celebrate the birth light.

  14. 14

    So, so beautiful, and true. Thanks for sharing.

  15. 15
    Julie Reynolds says:

    and there are beautiful women who write out their stories for all to see. These are those who are authentic enough to share their victories and their failures with those of us who lurk in shadows sometimes wishing we had done motherhood this well. Thank you Lisa-Jo for being transparent and real, for typing the words that show us beauty in the ugly and how to open our hands up to the many treasures that await us when we let go and let GOD.

    wiping tears away this morning….

  16. 16

    Amen, Lisa-Jo. And there’s a big, big God whose heart breaks for his children. Thankyou for this.

  17. 17

    Someday, Some day…I’ll read one of your posts without tears. What a lovely, soothing arrangement of words. Thank you Lisa-Jo!

  18. 18

    Good job Lisa Jo.


  19. 19

    Oh Lisa Jo! How beautiful, how true and how needed are your words. Driving home from errands I swung back around to take a picture of a new memorial I found HERE….all the way over here in Valparaiso Indiana where our hearts are broken, our embarrassed ‘thank God it wasn’t my child’ thoughts wander loose and humbled.

  20. 20

    Yes. Yes. Yes. :) On Saturday, the car in front of us paid the toll. On Sunday the grocery checker offered me some of her candy. Yesterday the barista gave me 50 cents off my coffee, “just because.” Little bits of love. We need that.

  21. 21

    Tragedy awakens an appreciation of life and humankind which sometimes lays slumber in the ordinary everyday. There is goodness in the world. Thanks for this post.

  22. 22

    Thank you for this, Lisa-Jo! I always feel comforted when I read your words, but the beauty of this post was such a sweet reminder. Laughed about the kids who pick up their rooms after the 4th time. :) Thank YOU for your comforting words in the midst of a world turned upside down. Hope and pray that your Christmas is filled with great joy and blessing as you continue to be a blessing to sooooo many!
    So much love to you!

  23. 23

    Great reminders of goodness in a time of overwhelming tragedy! LOVE this post! :-)

  24. 24

    Was feeling a new wave of overwhelming heaviness tonight, Lisa-Jo. And this post of yours just popped up in my FB news feed. I’m so glad I clicked over. Thank you for shining your Jesus-light. Love to you…

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