Monday, February 28, 2011


In the midst of life in danger and life cut short, my soul responds like the tiny green shoots of the crocuses slowly emerging out of black soil beneath my office window. The shuddering cold earth grown damp with just-melting, and beaten down by the pounding ice and wind of winter, breaks open at finger-tip touches, and timidly, quietly, but with unquestioning resolve, out peek meekly-pale stubs of life and hope.

My heart stood stock-still and listened and broke the past few months under frigid cold layers of shock and grief, this heart, wrapped in others' devastation, fear and loneliness. Held white-knuckled close in the clutches of sorrow, it heard this muffled, plaintive whisper: Listen. Learn. Grow.

It's natural, I think, the internal insistence that these Worst Things that happen must be for Something, and for Something Good. The guttural, spirit-uttered Why?, moaned in the wake of shattering tragedy, demands The Perfect Answer.

It just does. If you've survived a tragedy, you know it does.

And so I'm led - more than led; I'm urgently summoned - to press just one meaningful sprout of hope and beauty through the bleakness of what's stormed and beaten down my world and the people, my beloved people, in it.

I shake my head slowly as I sit here, thinking, typing, how can I reach out and put this one thing into everyone I know? How do I press this into your chest and fold your arms gently over it and stare into your eyes, your busy eyes, that smile and listen and dart and sparkle and then maybe know or maybe forget, or maybe close altogether:

Do not let tragedy be the force that brings you to examine your relationships and discover you've left your kindest words unsaid, your caring deeds undone, or another's dreams unknown.


Life moves and it complicates. Your forgiveness loses status to resentful pride. Your embrace gets in line behind an urgent task. Your real, cherished-forever loving word drowns under a river of daily life-speak. Your interest wanes amid the check-list-labors.


Whom haven't you forgiven for a past argument? What if Thursday morning you find yourself bowing your head at the funeral of a someone with whom you'll never be able make things right again?

Whom didn't you hold close today? What if tonight he doesn't come home?

Whose eyes haven't you looked into and said, You're a beautiful person and of so much value to me. I cherish your amazing You-ness? What if you never get to say anything at all to her ever again?

Whom didn't you sit beside one day in the sunshine and ask, What do you dream about, when you let yourself dream? What if by this time next week all you can do, forever, is WONDER about about his answer?


Examine your attitude. Dump your pride. Shuffle your priorities. Speak your heart's words into the hearts of others whenever you get the chance.

Make February 28th the day you undid a tragedy before it ever happened.

Let today be the day you make a miracle of your life and watch it bloom in the lives of the people around you.

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  1. Megan,

    This is so good I did something I rarely take the time to do--I printed out a copy to put with my Bible and read again and again. I also printed out extras for my teenagers and husband!

    Thank you for the reminder. I think it is always part of the Something Good when we can comfort others with the comfort we have received (is that Colossians, maybe?). Thanks for passing on what you have heard and learned through these trials.

    Praying once again for these families.



  2. I read this yesterday and was left speechless. I came back to read it again this morning. I will read it again tomorrow.

    Thank you for this.

  3. I'm here. I'm listening. Thank you.
    I want to say a million other things, but I can't quite form my feelings into words at the moments. So just, thank you.

  4. Did you just hear me sigh? I love you and your beautiful words that make me sigh, smile and think of all you've said over and over in my mind. You add such brightness to my day, even when the sun refuses to shine.

  5. You are an amazing writer! You have given me much to think about. Thank you.

  6. This is SO GOOD, Megan. I love the before-after comparison. You've renewed my intent to focus on LISTENING to Corey this weekend. It's so easy to jump to a defensive posture, and it really benefits no one.