As I was preparing to travel to a small community that lost a child as the fourth person to suicide this year, I heard about the shooting and loss of lives at the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City.
Since writing the story of my life’s greatest mentor (a Jewish judge) a few years ago, I’ve become familiar with the work of Jewish Community Centers – and the good and gracious people that fill them to celebrate messages of love and service. I sent a note of condolence to the JCC, tucked the unknown victims, families, and community into my heart to hold in prayer, and headed off to spend time with another grieving community.
I returned home to a note from a dear friend who I didn’t realize lived a few blocks from the JCC and was at a nearby playground with his daughter at the time a hate filled man shot and killed three people.
My friend told me about Mindy Corporon, who lost both her father and son in this tragic hate crime, and shared how she has been inspiring grieving hearts to pull together to focus on love and not hate.
When Mindy heard that there an interfaith service being held the same day she lost her family members, she was there to speak love to her community:
The following day, in response to the demands of media, she hosted a press conference to release a statement from her family:
"People keep saying, how come you're so strong? I'm strong because I have family. I'm strong because I have faith… I know that God did not do this. I know that there are evil, evil actions. But what we do have is each other, we have love and we have prayer, and we have friends and family." ~Mindy Corporon
Then my friend shared these words by a local mom. He said that they spoke his own heart…mine, too: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/04/15/4961046/the-peace-that-passes-understanding.html
He finished by saying that Mindy’s call to bring good from evil and to encourage the community to come together in love and hope made him think of our Community Resiliency Project’s work after we lost our children.
It’s been healing and inspiring (and yes, heart wrenching) for me to watch the above video clips and read the words.
I’ve come to believe that heartbreak is an invitation.
In the wake of grieving senseless acts of loss, it was my heartbreak that led me to call on community leaders and say: Not only can something good come from this, but something good must come from this. We have not experienced this depth of loss to not bring forth good for our community and for others.
This was one of the messages I shared with the post-suicide grieving community, holding fast to a vision of good that is ahead of them.
Already before leaving town, I saw an outpouring of love, a community coming together to heal, and yet another mother speaking words of hope. http://www.wowt.com/news/headlines/Community-Searches-for-Life-Saving-Answers-255259541.html
When I heard Mindy’s expression of hope that something good will come from the tragic loss of father, son, and another person…I wanted to hug her and reassure her that much goodness already has come forth.
“A million hearts ache for your loss, weeping together, and we hug our loved ones tighter in your son’s memory. I kissed my children this morning and called out that I loved them one last time, remembering that any goodbye could be the last goodbye.” ~Emily Parnell
Much more good is unfolding in ways that Mindy – and we – cannot yet see. But do not doubt that it is here.
Our hearts are breaking…and within an invitation is being whispered.
Your heartbreak is inviting you to be a messenger of love.
Your heartbreak is inviting you to be a messenger of hope.
Your heartbreak is inviting you to be a messenger of healing.
Can you hear it?
- Why so quiet in March? Three consecutive weeks of “spring break” with my kiddos’ 3 different school schedules. #playtime
- Designed balance of travel and staycations. It's not about world travel…it's about heading up the road with fresh eyes!
- The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only one page. ~St. Augustine #perspective
- Enjoyed kicking off annual Iowa School Nurses Organization conference last week with leadership keynote.
- Also joined Community Resiliency Project team twice to share our story, lessons learned and youth building tools with school nurses and with the Iowa Student School Counselors Association.
- A disheartened woman bought 5 copies of Walking with Justice at last week’s book signing. “I’m gifting these to our church leaders. They’re fighting about our direction and it’s ugly. Our church might not even survive. On the way here, my pastor called and asked, ‘Whose side are you on?’”
- Before I could stop myself (working on this!), I said, “Did you say God’s side?” She nodded, “I did.” #Amen
- A faith walk – regardless of specific beliefs – requires leading through service…making space for uncertainty… building consensus…with a tremendous awe for the care of another soul.
- "To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground." ~Stephen R. Covey (via @SethAdamSmith).
- It’s easier to seek control over circumstances and advance our own little agendas…than it is to risk placing our faith in a bigger story that may be unfolding, unseen, in and around us. ~inspired by Notre Dame reflection.
- 50 Greatest Leaders via @FortuneMagazine. Eclectic bunch… reminder to be fully YOU and play to your strengths!
- KUDOS to my niece…who paints cows =) A joy to see her thrive & contribute doing what she loves!
- Savoring this review… posted from one of my favorite places in the world (thank you @FionaAshe). #Ireland
- Ready to gather with awesome people to strengthen yourself and grow your impact? Welcome to Green Lake!
- Thrive & Serve Retreat registration now OPEN (1st Dibs pricing until April 17th). http://www.drmollie.com/ThriveRetreat
- Until next time >> Play to your strengths…play nice…and keep the faith.