‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Joy Overflowing

Do you ever experience unexpected bursts of joy? Joy not tied to any experience or memory? Joy that seems to just be 'visited' upon you? I'm having that again. Part of me doesn't even want to write about it, my being superstitious and all. But I am startled by its visitings and want to remember it when the dark days come, as they inevitably do.

Last night I had an unsettling experience of time. It was dusk, and suddenly I felt aware of many people across the word all at once, grieving. I felt mothers grieving the loss of children who had passed, I felt the grief of parentless children, of people sitting in prison alone, of elderly people left alone in their time of need, of people battling terminal illnesses - just an expanding of my awareness of suffering all in one instant. But then I felt this incredible energy blanketing all of those people and things with a love that I cannot possibly articulate. The love was so completely unconditional and all-encompassing, it felt like the love I have for my own daughter times a billion. My heart felt like bursting. Although it was a very contradictory picture - grieving humanity and a fiercely loving presence overlaying that - in the moment I experienced it, it did not feel contradictory. It was as if all the grieving did not matter in the face of this loving Presence. It was as if all the grieving and loss melted away, and all that was left was the relationship between this Loving Presence and the people it sheltered.

This is how I experience God. A love that is so profound and so infinite and so personal and so real that it melts away the darkest, deepest suffering. I think that is what we feel when we die -- we are born into God's arms and all the suffering and hurt and heartbreak melts away. The light of that Love is so powerful, we cannot even remember the most terrible of our griefs.

The past few years have brought me some tremendous heartache. Losing Daniel, continued separation from Anya, the inability to truly help all those beautiful children from Orphanage #5 in Siberia. Some days felt impossible to get through. Sometimes friends ask me why I keep taking big risks when the odds are so obviously not in my favor. I have to say, I do it because my heart calls me to it. I do it because I know it's right to do. I do it because I know someday the pain and suffering will be wiped away. I want to leave this earth knowing I did everything in my limited human power to show the unloved they are loved, to show the shamed they are beautiful and to show the forgotten they matter. I have found nothing else on this earth that is of more value.

I feel like I'm stepping into a new chapter of my life. I'm not sure why or how, but I feel new lessons on the horizon, and this excites me. Thanks to all of you reading this who are a part of my journey here. I feel fortunate to have so many guiding lights in my life. I hope I am able to do the same for you when you need it.

I hope, in your darkest hours, you feel the Love that is surely blanketing you.


  1. Thank you, dear one. I've been experiencing a lot of "traumaversary" grief. But, at the same time God has been so good to me lately...it is extraordinary. You express it all so beautifully and well.

  2. Beautiful post. I'm glad you are having some joy overflowing.....you need those moments of joy to continue on the work you have chosen to do with the beautiful children of Siberia.

    God bless you!

  3. Anonymous10:35 AM

    Beautiful! I am glad I can get your blog again, for a while I got error messages clicking on your link. So glad I didn't lose you for good!

  4. Anonymous1:55 PM

    I feel a burst of joy at seeing your blog again, and hearing things are going well for all the girls. Thank you for being you.


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