When I look at my car that’s been parked for a week, I feel like I am winning because I have not filled up my gas tank in two weeks. And then I remember the bike ride I took with my 16-year old a few days ago and I know I am winning.
He showed me his favorite loop that he normally does with his 13-year old brother. I felt the sun on my face and breathed in the smell of blooming flowers. I was determined to take each turn as fast as he did and not let him beat me! I thought about all the other things I “should” be doing and I knew he was showing me a lot more.
I thought about all the other things I “should” be doing
I made a choice to be in that moment. To see the ride as he sees it — he is a thrill-seeker and a nature-lover too. He can spot a lizard from 20 feet away, smell a deer from even farther and always stops to check them out. Ever since he could toddle this has been his way.
On that day I stopped with him for each lizard and each deer. And I made sure I didn’t stop as we bounced over rocks and took the curves fast enough to make me squeal. That bike ride with my eldest felt like a win on many levels. A win to enjoy the moment and a win against all the things that have kept me from those moments in the past.
I see a lot more room for some wins
And then when I look at the news, I see a lot more room for some wins. Seeing Georgia race to re-open its economy even with reports that hospitals are underprepared for a COVID-19 surge. Hearing the terribly sad news of Ahmaud Arbery’s death, yet another senseless and unjust death in a list of too many. Plus so much suffering in poor communities in the U.S. and beyond as COVID-19 wreaks even more havoc on shaky economies and weak infrastructures. I have to believe that we can start winning in these areas too.
Poverty and refugee status do not stand up very well to the impacts of COVID-19
For our small community in Lima, they are winning in some ways and we are celebrating that too. Refugees from Venezuela and single moms from Cusco are safe, healthy and happy — thanks to your generous donations. They all know that without this cross-continent community they would be facing a very different reality. Poverty and refugee status do not stand up very well to the impacts of COVID-19.
I hope you are following us on social media (check out the links at the bottom!) and seeing the wins happening in our building in Lima. They have created their own preschool co-op for their youngest residents and everyone is studying English every day. They spend their nights sharing stories and are finding healing through laughter and tears. They run up and down the 5 flights of stairs every day for exercise. On Sundays, the kids have “pool time” on the roof which entails filling up wash basins with water — and to them this is a major treat!
You have to play offense and start scoring at some point
My good friend (an avid athlete and sports fan) recently told me that at some point you get tired playing defense all the time. You have to play some offense and start scoring some points to get re-energized. I haven’t played a lot of sports but I have played enough life to know that what he is saying is true.
Thank you to all of you who have helped us play some offense for the people in Peru. I believe that your acts of generosity have put some points on your scoreboard too.
We will continue to share the good things and the hard things in the days ahead. We want to hear from you too. Let us know if you need a friend to talk to. Let us know if you are inspired about other ways to help the people in Peru or the people in your neighborhood. We are in this together. We win and we lose together.