Something amazing just happened, and it was this:
You showed up and poured out love.
Over the course of just 10 hours, you brought together $20,000 to feed kids without families in the Philippines.
And then you WOULD NOT QUIT.
In the following 5 days, you more than doubled our goal. As in 200% doubled.
Because of you, the little boy in that first picture? the boy who arrived at the shelter with burns and scars and a whole lot of hurt, along with a shy smile and a little bit of a goofy side and a precious soul of unsurpassable worth? that little guy and many more just like him will have fish and vegetables and fruit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of the year, and you played a role in making that happen.
This week, I was reading the Hero Roster tributes, in addition to getting little rivers of mascara all over my face, I was thinking about this idea that beauty inspires beauty – that’s what the Hero Roster was all about, right? People standing on the rooftops telling the internet world about the love and joy and life that they’ve seen and experienced through other beautiful human people. It was so fun to see this happening. Worldwide love call-outs!
But what also hit me hard was the idea that sometimes it’s brokenness that inspires beauty, too.
There were so many tributes that hurt, literally hurt, just to read. So much was given in dedication to the memory of parents who had passed away, and to brave warriors who are still in the thick of a battle with cancer, and to babies whose moms and dads would never have the chance to meet them in this life.
You struck matches and sparked hope in the middle of your own darkness, and to be honest, it all sort of took my breath away. It moved me and it moved others.
I went for a run this morning, and as I ran superfast around our little lake (er fine maybe walked a little bit) I was reflecting on these last few days, and you all, and our unusually intimate blogger-reader relationship, and how and why and just the fact THAT you stood up, raised your hand, and opened your hearts.
Then I heard these lyrics come through my earbuds:
we call out to dry bones, come alive, come alive
up out of the ashes, let us see an army rise
we call out to dry bones, come alive
And I got a little watery-eyed for the 200th time in 5 days and thought: Yes.
This week you were a Love Army rising up out of beautiful places, and out of hard ones, too, calling forth life for yourselves and life for others even, for many of you, in the midst of your own heartbreak.
Beautiful things from beauty, and beautiful things from ashes, too.
Truly, in literal terms, as I write this and as you read this, the aunties and uncles at the shelter are standing at the gates with open arms ready for the next babies, toddlers, teenagers to reach that heartbreaking life turn in their journey that will lead them to this temporary home of hope and healing.
The counselors and social workers and therapists are carefully preparing.
The guards are keeping watch.
The buildings are ready, the beds and cribs are made, the laundry is done.
And then it was your turn, and you stood up and opened your door and held out a plate of nutritious food.
In these last five days, we showed up with enough rice, chicken, vegetables, and baby formula to provide meals to almost 40 orphans for one year.
You know what we call that? We call that ASCRIBING UNSURPASSABLE WORTH.
I usually try not to take life too seriously, but wow, guys.
I can’t not be so serious with this one. The weight and the honor of what this challenge has been all about, and what YOU generous readers are all about, regardless of who you are, your age, your job, your politics, your financial situation, your faith, or your physical location across the globe? Seeing this energetic mosaic of people come together around a shared common love goal? Oh my oh my oh my.
It has resonated with me so deeply.
Okay. Pulling it together.
In the name of not taking life too seriously, while you were all giving and sharing and being your generally awesome selves, there was plenty (both of the good and weird variety) happening here behind the scenes.
Here’s an inside look at what was going on here in between compulsive page refreshing and nail-biting and espresso-chugging over the last five days.
Starting Wednesday morning at 8:30am.
I PUBLISH THE POST:
JENNA COMES ON THE SCENE TO SAVE ME:
I LOSE ALL ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE CLEARLY:
JENNA KEEPS SENDING GOOD NEWS:
WE ALL CRY EVERY TIME READING THE HERO ROSTER:
AND MORE GOOD NEWS:
9 HOURS AFTER STARTING = GOAL MET!
YOU’RE NOT STOPPING AND WE’RE OUT OF OUR MINDS:
FRIENDS ARE TEXTING – THEY ARE IN SHOCK AND AWE OF YOU:
MOM TEXTS ME THE NEWS: GOAL HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN DOUBLED!
With the money raised, you made it possible for this new little baby – the one I told you about? – to step out of that van and have a safe place to land, and arms to snuggle into before bed, and a nutritious meal three times a day.
And not just him, but 40 more precious lives.
So proud to serve alongside you, friends.
So very proud.
up out of the ashes, let us see an army rise
♡ ♡ ♡