Ours is not
the task of fixing the entire world
all at once,
but of stretching out
to mend the part of the world
that is within our reach.
Any small, calm thing
that one soul can do to help another soul
will help immensely.
What’s needed for dramatic change
is an accumulation of acts.
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
It's so dang easy to fall into the age-old trap: "Let me help. What can I do? Maybe I can help fix it.” Whatever the "it" is, many of us knowingly or unknowingly walk into the quicksand or hop on the merry-go-round in an attempt to help. To fix it. To do a good thing. To try to….
Time and again, my sin is taking too big a slice from the pie. Time and again, I find myself in over my head only wanting to help. And what happens next? I grow weary and discouraged and somewhere along the line all I know to do is quit. And all I wanted to do was to help.
Estes' words are profound and graceful lifelines. Words of encouragement of hope. They speak to our small, specific possibilities for change. They speak to the ableness of communities, and the greatness of never being alone.
If in these early days of April, we look around and see something that pulls at our hearts, can we then seek and find something that is small, doable, possible? Are we able to look around and see all the things our sisters and brothers are also doing? Perhaps they appear to be small on the surface, but when we put them together, they become remarkable. Magnificent. Living miracles. The helping we can do is brick by brick, stone by stone. With these appearing to be small tasks, together we will mend fences and build bridges. Together doing just what we can - from here to there, reaching out beyond ourselves. Individually, we would have no idea. Together, we can begin to see it happening. All around us. After all: “Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”