Staff Reflections: One Step

Staff Reflections: One Step

From Barbara Wahlbrink, Director of Communications …

These days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The problems around us seem so big, so persistent, so systemic. People are angry, with good reason. Leaders don’t have answers. Divisions are everywhere. The fabric of our society seems to be ripping apart. What can one person do? On the surface, not much. But let’s dig deeper. The answers lie within our hearts, each one of them. One soul can’t do much. But like-minded souls, together, can change the world.

Dorothy Day was a 20th century activist and woman of faith who was recognized by Pope Francis and the U.S. Congress as one of four Americans, alongside Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thomas Merton, who “built a better future.” Dorothy Day faced much uncertainty in her long years of work with the poor and disenfranchised. Often, she felt she was a lone voice crying in the wilderness. Yet, she never gave up. She wrote, “Young people say, ‘What good can one person do? What is the sense of our small effort?’ They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time; we can be responsible only for the one action of the present moment. But we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions and know that God will take them and multiply them, as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.”

No one person caused the problems we face. And no one person can solve them. But from the inside out, change will come. The first step is understanding. Putting aside what we think we know and opening our hearts and minds to things before unrecognized. Putting love first, for God and for neighbor. Asking questions and listening. No one of us can fix everything. But each one of us can fix something, even if it’s just inside of us. We each have a responsibility to open ourselves to change from within, to pray for an “increase of love in our hearts” that will awaken, transform, and multiply the impact of our actions. Right now, it seems like we need a miracle. But God is good at those. Remember the loaves and fishes? By God’s grace, the change is coming … and these painful days are opening the door wider to what we need to see and know and do. Be responsible for one action in the present moment. Lay one brick. Take one step. By God’s grace, the change will come.

So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9