Each day, we are bombarded with darkness in the news. Story after story of atrocities are being revealed and exposed to us by the minute. We are allowing ourselves to be guided into a sort of numbness and helplessness by the stories that are purposely chosen to be released to us through the media.
We are not being told the whole story.
Yes, this world is filled with darkness. And in my opinion, it is a good thing that we are becoming more aware of the sin and evil that always existed in the shadows. Now, we don’t have to look too far to discover evil…it is right in front of our faces twenty-four hours a day.
However, grace, kindness and mercy also flows around us each day. We only need to search for goodness and ask that our eyes be opened so that we may see it.
A few months ago, I started a job at an Assisted Living Retirement Community. The facility where I work is beautiful and offers much in the way of life enrichment. I have fallen in love with the residents, and also with the beautiful staff that cares for them, and shows love in so many ways.
Let me share a few of the moments I have witnessed…
Wonderful exchanges between friends, where one is hard of hearing. Watching as the one friend patiently repeats, slowly and loudly, until the friend can understand. This happens over and over throughout the day, and I have never seen impatience or mean-spiritedness in the interactions.
One resident in particular, is a blessing to all by her calmness of spirit, and her willingness to help. Not only does she greet and speak with each person she encounters, she has also been extremely patient and helpful with me, while I was training for my position.
Residents that are filled with pain or with bent bodies, refusing to give up. They face each day as it comes and push forward one step at a time. They refuse to give up.
Family members that visit their loved ones almost every day. The daily struggle of their own lives, plus the concern and emotion they feel regarding their family members that are living at the Assisted Living Community. They are feeling many different emotions as life pulls them in different directions. However, they are there to share love and comfort…they are there to share themselves. It is a beautiful thing to witness.
Many family members live too far to visit a lot. On Mother’s Day, I watched love and pride radiate on the face of one mother when she first saw her family walk in the door. Then my heart was pierced, along with hers, as I saw her goodbye embrace with her son, that she doesn’t see regularly… Love is such a beautiful, powerful force, that is so hard to even comprehend. A mother’s bond with her child is unexplainable.
When someone is having an “off” day, I watch as community members try to guide their friends to socialize and participate in events. I do not see judgement in play. What I see is an inner knowing and understanding of the difficulties that others may be experiencing, and their concern for that person.
A hand on a shoulder, a hug, a warm smile, an invitation, a conversation, validation, acceptance, service, love…these wonderful expressions of love are all around us each day. You may not have the opportunity to see the same love moments that I do, but I can guarantee that they are happening no matter where you are.
Look for those moments. For when you find them, you will find Jesus.