“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
My goodness, you guys, I’m not easily moved to tears but the response to this request for toy donations on behalf of an outreach that had none to give — and the kindness and generosity that is so evident in your comments and emails — has more than once made me well up.
You’ve shared the post and notified family and parishes and tweeted it, and the response has been so heartening. Someone quoted Jerry Maguire to me yesterday, “we live in a cynical world…” but you are reaching out with full hands to complete strangers and saying, “yes, please take this; it’s making me happy to know someone is going to smile from this.” More than one of you have shared that giving a toy has been your Christmas gift to yourself.
There’s healing in this, I’m sure of it. So many have remarked that it feels good to donate toys to children when we are in such grief over the deaths of children — that here is some counterbalance to the heavy weight that has been carried in our hearts; perhaps the first assist to a leveling-off that will ultimately help us to move forward and move on.
My contact at Straight and Narrow admitted she almost doesn’t know what to do with all the gratitude she feels. Me too! I want to give something back to all of you, for all you’re giving. I really do feel a little like George Bailey, watching the whole town come up and joyfully explain what they’re doing.
And too, I feel a little like the narrator of “In the Bleak Mid-Winter…” “if I were a shepherd, I would give a lamb…”
UPDATE: Carol at the Family Success Center says that with what you have done, they may actually end up (again like George Bailey) in the unique circumstance of having more toys than they need. Talk about “a good measure and overflowing.” Thank you for what you’ve done.
Sometimes the best response in the face of so much goodness is simply to say “thank you” over and over again, but it also seems like a good time to remind people that, you all gad about, shining like the sun, and that if darkness sometimes seems to be getting the upper hand, it’s an illusion meant to bring us to despair. The light shiness in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.
And here, a little dono; a little gift, sweetly calm, full of people living normal lives, together, and taking a moment to be part of what is light:
In your light, we see light