I don't mean to be a part of the churn in our culture that glorifies busy "Oh, I'm soooo busy, can't even find time to blah blah blah!"
But it's true.
I have been, and I am.
I'm trying to squirrel away some cash so I can do my dream job for a while. So, I am hustling nuts just about as fast as I can, or well, no nuts. I'm scoring student essays from standardized tests. It is forty million times more difficult than you think it is. Really. It is.
I can't say much of course, because of confidentiality agreements. But the last few days I've been working lots of overtime, trying to finish a big project on time. Or less late. Or something. I've worked straight through from Mother's Day with no days off, usually 9, 10 and even 12 hour days.
I am happy for the work and the chance to bring in some money. My goodness I work with some amazing people. But I'm starting to get tired, and maybe a little raw.
We sometimes get a little peek into the lives of the students who write these essays. As you can imagine, the essays can be charming, heart warming and even funny--our quiet office is occasionally punctuated with a burst of giggles from a scorer, all in good cheer.
But there are some papers that just bring me to my knees. Some young people deal with so much more than they should have to. It breaks my heart open. There are processes to get help to the kids, it's all handled well. But still, there it is.
Yesterday after reading a heart breaker, I had to take a moment and step out in the fresh air. How can our society just chug on along when our children are all just really not OK. Really, now. How? I stood and watched the wet Seattle afternoon, the bright green spring leaves shook raindrops to the ground as the sun broke through the clouds, the fresh spring air promising growth, life and hope. Maybe hope, anyway.
But the papers are there, and they need to be scored. It's my job to score them. So I headed back in and sat down at my desk.Somehow, I needed something, a marker to at least note to myself that I hear these kids, I see them, I care. And I do not for one moment think that the way our world works is OK at all, in particular when it comes to our children.
I wrote a version of the affirmation we use in the Church of the Larger Fellowship's services after our shared joys and sorrows on a sticky note and stuck it to the travel tumbler that sits on my desk all day. My prayer. My hope. My deepest wish for every being or at the very least for every single child:
"May all be held in the heart of love."
It is, right now, my deepest prayer.
May we work like hell to make it so.