Have you experienced the overwhelming sensation of a heavy heart? It’s really difficult to get away from this oppressive feeling lately.
Today, I turned on the radio and was hit with the sorrow of families who had lost loved ones in a shooting in Maine. Maine, a state that doesn’t often see this type of violence, was grappling with new emotions about mental health and gun control, all while parts of the state were still on lockdown because the shooter couldn’t be found. Families remained in fear. The range of emotions in this community was all over the place, and they certainly contributed to my heavy heart.
Earlier this week, I turned on a radio program interviewing the daughter of a hostage in Gaza. She didn’t know if her father was dead or alive until two other hostages, a mother and daughter, were released. They told her that her father was alive. The radio interviewer assumed that was a relief, but the daughter shared careful words I noted. “It created hope,” she said.
It was these words that made my heart break a little but then swell a tiny bit, too. The idea of creating hope feels…hopeful. Can we cure this heavy heart by creating hope? It’s likely not a cure-all, but the momentary feeling passing through me felt nice. I realize my daily situation is different. I can share stories for a nonprofit that is changing lives every day. I get to say things like, “The Caring Place Food Pantry served 3,800 people last month,” or “When The Caring Place provided a housing deposit, a working family was finally able to move out of a hotel and into an apartment,” and “Through assistance at The Caring Place, families can create stability when tough times occur.” I know through our client stories that The Caring Place is making a difference in our community and in the lives of real people feeling real heartache of their own. I see the hope. The Caring Place is not only creating hope but bringing relief and I have the honor of being part of that. You can, too. Yes, the world around us will continue to be what it is, but focusing on the good and the hope we are creating right here in our neck of the woods is therapeutic to a heavy heart.
What feels like a healing way to create hope for you? Making time for volunteering is often a balm to the soul. Our volunteers often say they love knowing they are helping others, but I see healing happening among their friendships and comradery, too.
If time is a problem, you may still make time to shop for various necessities on a day off. When you shop at our thrift stores, you support The Caring Place mission to provide for the basic needs of our community. When you are thinking about the work of TCP as you shop, it really is “shopping for good.”
And if a monetary gift might feel good because it is helping to create hope, then try making a gift to The Caring Place this season. 100% of your financial donation impacts neighbors through direct services. You really are creating hope with every dollar you give.
Munia Khan said, “Sometimes the burden of love is heavier than a heavy heart.” While maybe she was referencing the huge and sometimes “heavy” feelings we feel when we love someone, I’d like to think those big feelings will also fill my heart with a comforting kind of heaviness. Perhaps, that’s called hope!
Learn to shop, volunteer or donate at caringplacetx.org/getinvolved.