• Chelsea Ann

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

My grandmother had a wooden St. Francis in her backyard. He's 5 feet tall, has wooden creatures on his shoulders and along his arms, and there's a wooden tray held by his hands. She would put the snack trays on it, or her glass of tea. She would always say hello to St. Francis when she went outside. She was also the first person to tell me about the Prayer of St. Francis. To this day the prayer of St. Francis gets me every time. Regardless if it is spoken or sung, this prayer just tugs at my heart strings. These words have been in my life for as long as I can remember:

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.

It goes on, but these words on imprinted in my heart. I learned them through my religious education and make an intention to live these words each day. While I am not perfect, I do look to help however I can and wherever I am called.

When the world fell into peril a few months ago, my heart just sank and then sank some more. So many people sick, so many people suffering, and I was stuck in a house. While I know that was encouraged, it wasn't enough. That wasn't helpful. Midland does have cases, but we are struggling more in an economic sense than in a medical sense right now. Thousands were and still are losing their jobs, bills aren't being paid, and while the stimulus checks do help...they only last so long. My heart hurt and I didn't know how to help, but I knew I needed to help and I was able to help...where there is despair, hope.

My church works with the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Their ultimate goal is to end poverty through systemic change. They work with families who are struggling to make ends meet and help them regain their footing. It is a quick, slippery slope to get behind, yet it can be like conquering Everest to get back on track. Right now, in these uncertain times, it can be all too easy to defer a payment or two. I want to help those people. Those that are already living paycheck to paycheck and can't afford to be furloughed or laid off....where there is darkness, light.

The Grads on the Grass Sessions began as a hope and a prayer to raise $500. Five hundred dollars would hopefully help a few families at least keep their lights on, or keep the water going. A month later (let me say that again....in ONE MONTH), this community has donated almost TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS. You guys. I am shocked!

After each session, when an amazing family makes a donation to help someone in need, I say so many prayers of thanksgiving and usually end up in tears on my way home. These last few months have just been so hard, and to know that there are so many wonderful families that are willing and able to help others gives me faith in humanity...where there is doubt, faith.

I am so grateful to have been able to work with so many of you during these sessions. It is my prayer that in these times of sadness, we have brought a small amount of joy to just a few people. As we move forward and continue the process of reopening, I hope to keep the Prayer of St. Francis in the forefront of my mind. Bringing joy, faith, love, and hope wherever I can.

Happy Monday friends!

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