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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I can't.... be WE can- make a difference.

I dialed the phone, not sure what to expect. 1 ring.. 2 rings then a click and pick up. I'd never heard the voice behind the smile before. I wondered what to expect.

A sweet but sad voice answered the phone. The voice dissolved into tears... we talked. I heard both her heart and the scary details of her situation..... I felt overwhelmed. This was a bigger problem than I could fix. I listened. We talked through potential solutions.. we prayed together... and then hung up.

What on earth can I do to help? The need was way bigger than what I had to offer in help. What I have to share wouldn't make a dent. I couldn't even wrap my arms around this person and hug her. She is too far away. I took some time to think and pray... I knit. I sat. I wandered around the house wondering how I would feel if it was me.... I felt overwhelmed with the size of the problem...I felt powerless to help.

I remembered the words of Mother Theresa.."There are no great things, only small things done with great love" That is how Mother Theresa faced the overwhelming poverty and need that surrounded her... one person at a time... one small, loving act, at a time, and trusting that it made a difference. It did... and still is. Her ministry of love is known all over the world.... I thought about the knititng in my hands.. and how each small stich adds itself to the garment...and creates something useful. (one stitch--- not so much:)

" Would small things done with love make a difference here? now? for this friend? " I just kept wondering. I thought some more... I prayed. and then I decided to ask her permission to help... and to enlist the help of others. Together we offered up bits and pieces.. ideas... words.. yarn (you knew yarn would be involved at some point) books, thoughts prayers....all the little bits started forming themselves into a plan... and then the plan launched.

The plan was to hold a small fundraiser- simple paypal donations made directly to a family in need of their rent money. Each donation would have the chance to win a prize donated with great love. Nervous.. we waited.... (maybe a bit nervously) Then... the donations started pouring in. Ravelry knitters- especially Loopy Ewe Yarn Shop group members- are giving small things with great love. Sacrifices...small and large ... each whatever they can do... and together making a difference.

The world is full of bad news. Fraud, inflation, economic messes. Watching the news is overwhelming- I try to avoid it, mostly... because I feel at a loss to be able to change it. I know, I can't. Not alone.. I don't have the time, the money or the resources to change the world... or do I? Maybe changing the world means doing small things with great love...maybe changing the world means doing what you can when you can, where you can... maybe it all adds up.

It sure is adding up for one family. As of this moment- we've raised enough to keep them in their apartment. Now- we're working on making sure they have groceries. People are looking to see if jobs can be found.. they are checking their contact lists to see if they know anyone local to help....they are making a difference. Not just for this family... but for the generations that come after this one.. and for themselves.. because they know they are making a difference.

Why share this? Because--- there is hope. There is hope that we can make a difference... hope that God can provide...hope that things can get better--- if we each do small things with great love.

For Ravelry members... you can click here to see what we're up to... and maybe even help make a difference.:)

If you'd really love to help-but are not a rav member... you can look in my sidebar for my e-mail address to contact me and I can share with you how you can make a difference.

I know--- I know.. how do you know this isn't yet another internet hoax.... more people manipulating for profit? I'd say you can take my word... but why? The truth is -- there is always risk involved in helping.. always risk of backlash of fraud.... personally? I refuse to let that stop me from helping... Because if we STOP helping.. stop trying... we all lose.

Most readers know that I am a Christian... someone who desires to follow God. Not just in my words.. but in my actions. My convictions affect my choices. Here is the example I have to follow... and I may be walking with a limp and wandering around... on ocassion... and struggling to even find the path... but I am. One small step at a time.

The good samaritan

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Freedom - observed

A movement in the rear view mirror caught my eye. The driver behind me at the stoplight was bobbing her head, to music I couldn't hear. I smiled to myself. I've been known to traffic dance too:) I turned to peek- and saw that not only was the driver bobbing and traffic dancing, but the passenger was too. Beautiful, full smiles graced their faces....the passenger's hands were dancing, I could almost hear them laughing.

That's when I noticed the deep colored, headscarf. One of my neighbors was out for a drive with her daughter. As always- she was beautifully clad in one of her many headscarves. It made me smile. First, because I love the diversity of where I live- and second? Because I know full well- that this woman was enjoying something special. Where she is originally from- she would not be driving or leaving her home without a male escort- this silly, mother - daughter moment in the car- would have been lost.

She caught me peeking. I smiled. She smiled back. Mom-to-Mom- we connected. A tiny nod said "Yep- I love my kid, too- been there, enjoy". I am glad my neighbor is here. I'm glad she has found a place to both worship freely and live freely.

I am also glad that I can- even though, *by some*- we could be perceived as polar opposites- even- enemies of each others faith. I'm glad there are still places where this is true. I'm glad we both live where we can speak freely and live fully and disagree respectfully- by choice. I hope that you, can too.

Peace.

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