I am sensing frustration and dissent out there. People who see that change is needed and want to make it. But they’re just one person. One voice.
USA.gov (tagline, “government made easy”) reads,
Due to a lapse in funding, the U.S. federal government has shut down. Call 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636) for answers to government questions.
I could be talking about our perceptions of any number of woeful circumstances that beleaguer our society, our country, our community or our world today. People see what seems a better way, but they can’t get the attention of people who could actually bring the change. Or, even if they could, they don’t have the influence to convince them that change is necessary and/or good and/or worth the time and/or money it would take to impart it.
People grumble. But I am not faulting these folks. Their hands, figuratively and perhaps nearly literally (perhaps really literally) are tied.
So I appreciate “soccermom#6” who honestly said (in a comment on my blog post to Soccerwire.com) that what I said was all well and good, but her son’s coach was not doing any of that (healthy warm ups and core strengthening which I had recommended) so “where were my follow up articles?” on exactly the program her son should be engaging in because she would need to do that with him at home.
I loved her heart for her son. Regardless of circumstances, she was going to do the right thing by the one for whom she could make a difference.
Perhaps that’s where most of us are. In a position to make things right for the one right before us. Or the people nearest to us. The ones we see who are hurting or who need helping.
I am always struck in my travels by how many of these people are among us. Oh, they look like the rest of us. They blend in. But once we get to talking, they share a story of hardship or struggle. They are under pressure or a deadline or lost. They’re feeling compressed or forced to comply or to wait by people, rules or things they didn’t create or ask for. They’ve landed in a place where their voice doesn’t count for much. But it’s still there. Because it’s speaking to me.
That’s when I tell them my name and they tell me theirs. And that’s the difference between blog commenters and face to face encounters, the name sharing. Online, I know you as a user name. (ironic, the term) In person, I know you as a face. And a story.
And perhaps that’s all that one voice can do is learn the others’ name. Swap a few stories. Get a sense of where the other is in the midst of things and engage them there. Find out how it feels to be them.
They’ll probably never know what a powerful message they are to me, a writer trying to pen the middle chapters of a story. Oh, the beginning is exciting. It’s always easy to jump in. At the end you see the finish line so you push toward if. But the middle bits, those are the hardest. You have to carry the message across the hardship without any ending in sight.
And that’s where we find ourselves in these days. In the middle chapters. Toiling. Fumbling. Speaking and listening. Trying to discover what action will take us from inception and idea to recovery and resolution. It’s a thankless job. It requires holding firmly with right and with left, no matter how far. No letting go.
I can imagine the Cross of Christ to be just such a place. What if we all gathered there and asked with one voice, “Please, show us the way to the final chapter”?