The Web of Hope

We only feel powerless when we feel alone.

This morning, my body started reacting to everything I've been carrying around in my mind. Something about walking down the street loosened it and I had the welcome release of a good cry. I guess it all began here, with the story of Odette, a woman separated from her daughters in Rwanda. This is a story that's been unfolding for a long time, but finally there have been ways to reach out as a community and help.  Recently, when Odette's daughter, Grace, became gravely ill, the need to hold on to hope became the greatest need of all.

There's a common thread that moves me, that is a culmination of these treasures that have washed onto my shore: this Ted Talk (thanks, Kelly) and these articles (thanks, Jen)--Healing the Africa Within Us and 1000 True Fans. It's like they hit a tuning fork at the very note that causes me to shatter. They're singing a song native to my soul: the immeasurable, limitless power of community to cause any miracle, big or small. Whether it's a community causing the production of an artist's work, people joining hands and hearts to empower and educate the girls of Africa, to buy a cow for a family in need, or the reuniting (in spirit, if not yet in body) of a mother with her daughters after a wrongful separation—there is nothing we cannot do when we come together.  This is the power of the web of hope.

I do not know how this story will end. My heart has caught its wave, and I'm riding out the rises and the falls. Even if tragedy strikes, we cannot fall any lower than the web of hands that catches us, holds us and enfolds us. Even in loss. Even when our hearts are shattered. This is the power of the web of hope.

I keep thinking about how Lourdes said, “There are so many Graces.” I know she's right, but I refuse to be discouraged. There are so many, but if I don't give what I can to help the Grace who crosses my path, only then is anything lost. So I am not afraid—to hope or to help. I'm not afraid to lay my heart on the line, along with anything else I have, to be the web that catches my Grace. My Odette. My Africa.

We have the power to triumph over any earthly challenge, and now I see that if my heart breaks, in the hoping or in the helping, this web of hope will be there for me, too—to catch my broken pieces. This is the power of the web of hope.

I know in my body and in my soul that we are all brothers and sisters. A web of hope takes the power of causing a miracle as a community to the level of intention, of compassion, of love. At the web's core is the common knowledge that caring does more to catch another person than even a hand or a dollar. I want to be the web that catches my brother, my sister, and I want to trust the web to catch me. This is who we have the power to be for one another.

Who will you be? Let's catch each other.