From author Jane Kirkpatrick’s newsletter July 13, 2016:
How are you today? No, how are you really doing?
I’m not so well. I break into tears at the oddest moments. My Pollyanna status among my friends is at risk. And yet, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Words from Galatians give me hope.
So today I listened to fifteen hundred voices singing Leonard Cohen’s Halleluiah heard after word of deaths in Louisiana, Minnesota, Dallas. A text from my sister-in-law telling me my nephew, a police officer, was not on duty brings me to tears of gratitude and makes me ache for the officers who were. A story on Facebook of a black woman and a white police officer meeting this morning made me cry.”How are you really today?” asks the officer and when she says “I’m tired” he says, “Me too.” And he offers “I guess it’s not easy being either of us right now, is it?” “No, it’s not,” she says back. He hugged her; she cried. This is how we heal the world, not by disengaging, but one person at a time saying “How are you really today?” and reaching out to offer comfort. “Do not grow weary of doing good.”
We can’t become hard. We can’t get into blame mode not because we can’t find evidence for our positions, but because blame and accusation keep us from our good work, keep us from our commitment to have a united, compassionate peaceful world. Listen to music. Walk through the meadows. Hike beside the rivers. Read poetry, a good novel, scripture. Go to the dog park where happy people watch their dogs play. Hug your children. Call people you love. Desmond Tutu reminds us that we have a choice about whether we return violence with violence or whether we stop the cycle. Ask your neighbor, “How are you really doing?”
And “let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” That is my hope for today.
You can subscribe to author Jane Kirkpatrick‘s Story Sparks mailing list for her thoughtful newsletter delivered to your inbox. Jane is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books. Her works have been finalists for the Christy Award, Spur Award, Oregon Book Award, and Reader’s Choice awards, and have won the WILLA Literary Award and Carol Award for Historical Fiction. She lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry. Her upcoming Oregon Trail novel, The Road We Traveled, will be in stores in September. The Memory Keeper and many more are available now through your independent bookstore.