Life Interrupted

We pulled up in front of the Downtown YMCA early this morning, both of us still a bit groggy and quiet after a hectic week and not a great night’s sleep. We were the first ones there, so we sat in Dan’s car for a few minutes to wait until the Y’s manager came to open up so that we could set up Dan’s yoga studio for his class. A Saturday ritual for us, rain or shine.

I saw the old woman sitting on the steps of the church, all alone, wrapped in desolation. The church has a women’s shelter, and they have strict hours about when the women can come and go from their facility. We often see women sitting outside the church, but something about this particular woman touched my heart in a way that I can’t quite explain.

The woman represents so much of what I have been pondering about our world lately. I wondered what her story was, what brought her to this place in life; old, destitute, broken down, alone? The picture of an elderly woman in need sitting at the steps of a church with the doors closed and locked just broke my heart. Any of us could be in the same place; as my mother often said, “there but by the grace of God go I”.

I thought about how Dan and I live our lives in a bubble. We have a great life; we have love, friendship, a comfortable and safe home, careers that we love, supportive families and friends. We are not wealthy by any means, but we are comfortable.

Today was life interrupted; this woman made me confront my complacency, made me painfully aware that there is another layer of life out there, another layer of reality. I need to open my eyes, my heart, and my mind, and do more to help those in my community who are facing adversity. It’s easy to be complacent when you have what you need…but we have a responsibility as humans to open our minds and our hearts to those who may not be as fortunate. We are all together spinning on this crazy planet; be kind, open your mind and your heart. Give where you can, even if your gift is only a smile or kind word to a soul who is suffering. “There, but by the grace of God…”

The city view in early morning mist…

4 thoughts on “Life Interrupted

  1. Often when confronted with the reality of those layers we turn away because we feel overwhelmed and guilty that we are not doing more. A cherished mentor once told me “Small acts of kindness matter, do what you can when you can and know through Grace those actions are magnified.” Thank you for this thoughtful piece.

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