I do not know how to fix all the problems we have in this world. I don’t, and I doubt that surprises you, because I have this sneaking suspicion that you don’t know how to do it either.
However, we generally want to do something to help. We can’t right all the wrongs, but maybe, just maybe we can do some small thing that will make a difference.
I want that too.
Here’s the thing, our problems, those problems in my town and yours, are a quagmire. They are like a plate full of spaghetti, each noodle intertwined with the other. It’s pretty darn hard to unravel the puzzle. Where does a plate of spaghetti begin and end? Who knows. You have to wait until the next to the last noodle is slurped up.
That’s kind of like our problems.
Yesterday I sat in the hospital for a long time, about five hours. Five hours in a waiting room can really get on a person’s nerves. I drank more coffee than I drink in a week and I turned into a pacing, bouncing, mad-woman.
I wrote status update after status update on facebook and deleted all of them. Facebook really isn’t the place to incite word wars.
I was nearly the last woman standing in that waiting room. It was down to two of us, and the other woman looked like she could use a cup of coffee.
The President of these United States was on the television talking about his commitment to better regulate guns, yada, yada, yada. I don’t mean yada in a disrespectful way, but I am not about to dissect his speech on this blog.
I listened to the proposed new regulations, my state being the first to implement stricter gun laws, and I looked at this woman and said, “Do you really think this will work?”
She shook her head no as I stirred creamer into yet another cup of coffee.
“Here’s the thing that gets me.” I said. “People who shoot other people don’t follow the rules.”
She sat there looking ragged. It’s not just that her clothes were old and ratty. She had that look on her face, the one that gave-up long ago. For her, she had no hope to hang on to.
“I wish they would just work on creating jobs for us.”
That’s what she said and she meant it.
Sometimes we think that if poor people would just get a job they wouldn’t be poor anymore, but it’s not always that simple. Some people have been poor for a long time and their problems are all mixed up like a plateful of spaghetti. They need someone to come alongside of them and sort the noodles.
Last night Flower Patch Farmgirl beautifully said the things that I do not know how to say. She made a statement about this young woman with a life of spaghetti noodles (my words, not hers). She said she had a gallon jar of banana peppers because that’s what they were giving out at the church.
For real people – we give a gallon jar of banana peppers and expect that to help someone.
I know a person who got several jars of salad dressing to help alleviate the financial burden of cooking/eating/grocery shopping.
What does someone who has nothing do with a jar of peppers or a bottle of salad dressing?
The answer is nothing, but they also don’t get rid of it, because they can’t. Even though they won’t ever really use it, it takes up space on their kitchen shelf.
I don’t have all the answers, but I know we are somehow missing the mark. I know it will take more than a jar of peppers or a bottle of salad dressing. It will take more than a clothes closet in the basement of the church. I know it will take time and tears and our lives spent on another person’s life. I know it will take making sense out of a bowl of spaghetti.
And for goodness sake, donate a can of soup instead of peppers.
Linking to Mercy Ink’s Heart & Home link-up.