We are One Family

Is it optimism that sees beauty here, that believes Rachel Beckwith is surrounded in the most loving embrace, in the arms of children who have lost their lives for want of clean water?

Yet as I write this, I cry in sadness too. Only once the light of Rachel’s life blazed out because of her death, did we realize, or even become aware of her heart’s desire.

What if the solution is as simple as she hoped? Giving up one’s own “right” to material gifts that the resources normally handed over for trinkets might instead save another child’s life across the world. How Rachel’s heart must have broken when she did not reach her modest goal of $300.

How many of us, in the last year, wasted as much in leftover food, ignored and eventually thrown out? How many of us have squandered even more in little ways too numerous to list? I have.

We do not like death, it’s finality, how our hearts break beneath the weight of grief, how we have no choice but to accept that we have gazed on our lost loved one for the last time in this life. Yet death, an unwelcome visitor, can wake us up, split our hearts, allow our own light to shine, as well as the true brilliance of our loved one lost.

As I read Rachel’s story I thought of the book Pay it Forward. As I turned the last page, if someone had asked me what was wrong, I would have accurately said, “Everything.” I wonder when we can look up from our dailiness and really be awake. When will we not need tragedy to crack us open to love unconditionally?


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