Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.J. R. R. Tolkien (Gandalf)
Once, I lost my daughter at a wedding dance. One minute she was there, the next my eyes were scanning back and forth like the light on a photocopy machine trying to see a little tuft of blonde hair about three feet above the ground. I began walking with purpose, not running to cause a panic, but darting between couples and tables, dodging purses on the floor and chairs pulled out.
My mind flitted through possibilities, most of them not helpful.
Finally, I spotted her and took a breath that went all the way to my toes. She was with a helpful woman who had found her crying in the corner. With all of the tall people, she’d gotten lost in the shuffle, panicked, and retreated to the edges of the place.
The dance hall was actually a closed rectangle with only one door, so unless someone took her out, she was most likely in the room. This fact didn’t calm me when I didn’t know where she was.
As I hugged her and dried her tears, she leaned in and took her own deep breath.
I am so thankful for that woman who helped. What an act of kindness and love, to help a child–and a mom–who needed it.
Being lost is an awful feeling. . . that mix of fear and being alone and not knowing. Sometimes as a teacher–especially in those first years–it’s hard not to feel alone, like you’re some toddler, crying in the corner, unable to see above the din in this strange and loud space.
But what if we’re all feeling lost, and we’re actually the lucky ones? What if this is all really just one big dance party? That is not to say that hard stuff doesn’t happen, or that there aren’t times that are real things to worry about, but what if instead of hiding and cowering, we looked for a friendly face and asked for help? What if instead of worrying, we dared to make our way back to the dance floor? And when we can’t muster the courage ourselves, I believe that in some weird and comforting way, God is looking for us, even when we feel the most lost, even when we are way out of our comfort zone. When we are the most lost, we will be found.
So, we can lean into the wall knowing that we’re hemmed in, that someone is looking for us. Soon we will be swept up again, and feel that hug of knowing that we’re found. And who knows? We might just smile as we wipe away our tears, grab hands, find the rhythm together, and dance.
- Thank someone who helped you out when you felt lost.