Might you be feeling the same as me? Too much, too much. Too bloody much going on out there, and the suicide of Robin Williams is just one more drop in the already heartbreaking flood of sadness and despair, and it is overwhelming.
Overwhelm: bury or drown beneath a huge mass… swamp, submerge, engulf, bury, deluge, flood, inundate…
There’s a tsunami of horror in our world, and it’s not hard to feel desperate.
The truth, though, is that I’m not the one in the water. I’m standing on the shore, watching while the whole world (it seems) drowns in front of me. The water is barely lapping at my feet as I’m considering vacation options and cleaning my home and feeding my kids who will at some point today complain about something for which most other children in the world would give their left leg. This is the hard truth.
And the other truth, hard also, is that I wonder that maybe I don’t have the faith or the skill or the chutzpah or maybe just the courage to swim out there and try to help a single drowning soul. I’m afraid I’m wringing my hands on the beach because I just don’t want to get my hair wet, you know?
I forget, in the midst of the bad news, that there’s another meaning for this word.
Overwhelm: defeat completely… trounce, rout, beat, conquer, vanquish, be victorious over, triumph over, overcome, overthrow, crush…
I forget, in the midst of despair, that there is hope, and I thank God for mercy and second chances.
The only way I know to overcome darkness is with light. I don’t know exactly what that means for me, standing on the beach today, but I know it starts with a love that is willing to get wet.
Instead of being overwhelmed, let’s overwhelm the world with love and kindness and grace, however and whenever we can. I’ll bring the towels.