I thought I was thankful, especially Saturday night with a heavy plate of Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner, nestled into a visit with my parents. Then I watched the CNN Heroes show. Tweets earlier in the week alerted me to it. I didn’t know I’d be crimped, ripped, and left wondering what mystery wants to birth in me.
Driving home, fresh snow brightened the two lane road. Tears bubbled and blurred me for twelve miles. Starry pinpoints lit the pitch night sky. I imagine the crimps and cramps that assist in open heart surgery. Compassion and unnameable longing wrench me open.
I can’t–don’t want to–let go of the stories, the people. Men and women who saw a need and said, Oh, no. Then birthed, I can, I must, I will. All the CNN Heroes stories pinch me, a few in particular:
- A man said, “I build footbridges.” I blinked. Footbridges? I did not understand that life-saving power. I do, now. Requests for tens of thousands more pour in.
- Students who shepherd by day learn in the dark with the invention of a solar LED light.
- Sex trafficking victims are rescued and rehabilitated. One young girl was forced to have sex with 60 men. In a day.
- A Scotsman responded to aching hunger and feeds 430,000 starving children. Every day.
- Inspiration from a kick-ass grandmother who creates magic moments in a hospital in Juarez, Mexico. Could I be like her?
- A chef brings dignity to those who are mentally ill and elderly–feeding body and soul with more than 1.2 million meals to date.
- …more stories are equally compelling.
The stories are not new. Nor is the need. Yet, I am grabbed in a way that is simultaneously unfamiliar and life-giving. These men and women simply–though I’m sure it wasn’t always simple–responded yes. Tonight, I wonder–ask myself: “Who am I at this crossroads in my life? What can I do–where does my compassion intersect with humanity?” I will let this question gnaw in me, germinate.
What unknown light is mine to shine? What light might be yours? I give thanks–for you, for CNN Heroes, for everyone who won’t let go of humanity, community, hope.