ashton kutcher.

i think it was mother teresa who said “may God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in”. i used to pray this prayer, like a good social worker, but after a while i realized…the whole world is pretty freakin huge and that actually hurts…alot. once God starts to crack your heart open to fit people in, it feels like He will never stop. (and i get images of all of my middle school classmates cranking their palate expanders, as the gap between their front teeth grew ever wider. i always wondered if they cranked too quickly if their head would split in two, right up between the eyebrows) and if He doesn’t stop, where do i begin? who do i help?how do i help the refugees in Lynn but ignore all of the homeless people i pass on my way there? how do i focus on them when overseas, there’s villages of girls brought into sexual slavery? and the crack babies and the lonely old men and the battered women and the crippled children….it never ends. IT NEVER ENDS.

for assistance addressing this particular overwhelmtion (yes, i made up that word), i’d like to defer to my good friend ashton kutcher and his co-star from The Guardian, kevin costner. (and my only viewing of this movie was also the first time my now-husband, then-“he’s so dreamy!” put his arm around me, so forgive me if the details are blurry.) quick overview: the movie is about rescue divers. the people who – if you are stupid enough to get caught kayaking on the open sea in a hurricaine – will jump out of a helicopter to save your foolish self. so ashton (cocky, insubordinate trainee) is asking kevin (troubled, seen-it-all veteran trainer) how he decides who to save when there’s more than one person drowning. 

and kevin, in his simple drawling wisdom says 

It’s probably different for everybody. Its kind of simple for me though. I just, I take the first one I come to or the weakest one in the group and then I swim as fast and as hard as I can for as long as I can. And the sea takes the rest.

ashton thinks about this for a while and they have a real heavy moment. and the camera is zooming in on their serious eyes and capturing all the meaning in the room and ashton asks:

do you think i’m ready?

if i did not think you were ready, i would not drop you in the Bering Sea.

sometimes it feels like there’s too much hurt in this world and if i come across one more hurting person, my heart is going to crack in half and fall to my butt. so when i start to feel the overwhelmtion take over, when i start to feel like i’m in the bering sea, surrounded by drowning people, i have to remember – i have to trust that God wouldn’t drop me out here if i wasn’t ready. i have to focus on the ones closest to me, the ones who are the weakest. i need to love them as hard as i can and as long as i can and keep swimming until He takes me back up. (too many metaphors?)

but here’s the thing. i have to also trust that He’s dropped other people in with me and we are all trusting swimming and loving the hell out of those around us. i have to believe that like frenchpressedfridays says, God has come to each of us with a vision for our lives and like mary, we have the choice to say no thanks or to say “my soul magnifies the Lord.” we’re all dropped in a specific area of the bering sea with a specific set of talents, abilities and passions that we are supposed to use.

i have to believe this because there’s too many drowning people out there for me not to believe this.

another wise person said that sometimes in a world that’s bleeding out, all we can do is hold our palms over the wounds. so jump in, reach out and find a wound you can reach. find one that your individual hand fits. and hold on. 


so maybe mother teresa is right – maybe God will continue to stuff people into my heart until the day i die. but the thing is, i have to remember that i can’t fix them all – i can’t save them all. but i can swim around all day, every day “preggers with grace and truth”.

1 Comment

  1. peng yu, you know how much i love this! thanks for speaking to my heart.

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