so i was driving home with groceries for the week. the mister said, "we got the nicest email from allison."
allison was one of the organizers/volunteers of the 5k. apparently our 7 year old had gained the attention of spectators who watched him run the 5k beating a lot of adults (including his mother) and then he turned around a ran the kids' fun run. he begged to keep running, but i had to cut him off after mile 4.
so the story goes, the mother of the visionary behind ellie's run for africa heard about george. someone blogged about it on her caring bridge site. for those of you who are unfamiliar with caring bridge, it's a blog site for those who are struggling with some kind of sickness. for barbara, ellie's mom, she has cancer. this is her 3rd run in with cancer. she's been given days to live. days.
i learned all of this after i logged on after the prompting of a few friends who had read the blog post and recognized our family.
humbled, honored, really there are no words to describe how i felt reading the words of the organizers who had seen our little circus-like family carrying on and had taken note. perhaps it was the 4 boys. or maybe it was the littlest who is tenacious in his endeavors. or maybe it was seeing the face-painted 11 year old who was dancing with the African drummers. whatever it was, the recognition made me pause.
i just be-bop through life, whistling and leading my little ducks in a row over hills and through streets and around bends without realizing that anyone else could possibly be noticing or even taking note. and yesterday, from the emails, i realized that sometimes we stand out. in a crowd. and it made me wonder.
how often do we forget that we should want to stand out. stand out for something that is bigger than ourselves. to be light bearers. surely light bearers get noticed. not in the "o, aren't they great" kind of way, but in the "i see" kind of way. image bearers don't draw attention to themselves. they draw attention to the one who's image they bear.
i write all of this with a profound sense of reticence. it was hilarious and deeply humbling that we garnered a blip on anyone's radar. but my boys are being reared to take risks, big risks. those are not my parenting tenets. i have been inspired by the biggest risk taker i know. and he didn't write a book on parenting and he didn't have a talk on TED.
here's the deal, we can assume that our little inconsequential decisions mean nothing. we can think nothing of acquiescing when the pestering child begs to run "both the 5k and fun run, mooooom." and then we read later that that delighted the heart of an ailing mother who took great pleasure in this feat. a mother who acquiesced when her 10 year old daughter decidedly chose to begin a fundraiser to send money to africa so that kids like her could attend school. and in the past 10 years, this darling girl with her ignited community has raised over a half a million dollars! so parents, friends, readers-acquiesce and see what happens when we say yes.
as i was thinking about whether or not to share this, i thought about how much i love checking facebook or instagram to see all the good that my friends and family are kicking up. some might see facebook, instagram, the twitter as a brag fest. i say bring it. brag. show off those darling photos. laud those graduations and accomplishments. heap on mounds of happiness and congratulations. wallow in the good. there is enough bad. there is enough darkness. there is more than enough cruelty. if you want to show off your child's ability to walk a tight rope, who am i to stop you. and you know what? you may just find that in doing so, it makes someone who you have never met laugh. and isn't that a good thing?
but don't stop there. don't be a good hoarder. once you've shared your good, go kick some up for others. pressure wash a neighbor's deck, jump on the trampoline with your kids, walk the dog, volunteer to drive soccer carpool, bake cookies for a friend's birthday. you get the picture. kick.up.some.good. you may never know the benefits. or you just may hear it brought joy to someone in her darkest hour.