“Always Room for One More”

As a teen I went to a week long girls camp. The leaders gave out awards at the end of the week. Just silly awards to single out a talent or nice attribute about each girl.

I was given the “Always Room for One More” award. 

At the time I thought it was so dorky. I didn’t understand why these leaders thought I should be awarded for scooting over at the picnic table to allow another girl to join in our card game, or letting someone tag along as we went to our tent to hang out for a bit. 

At the time, I wished for -what I thought was – a better award. Something like “The most popular”, “the smartest”, or even “the longest hair”. 

I wanted to be recognized for something extraordinary. And for me, it was completely ordinary to make room for someone else. 

It was almost 10 years later when I finally began to realize the significance of that award. I look back now and am so thankful to that youth leader that brought this attribute to my attention. Otherwise I never would have realized that there are other people that don’t know how to make room for one more. 

This is the reason my heart hurts – with actual physical pain – when I see the firestorm of misdeeds, mistrust, and mistreatment exploding on social media right now. Can’t we all be kind? Can’t we make exception for those that are hurting? Can’t we treat each other the same? With the love and acceptance we all deserve? 

I am so grateful that so many are calling for an end to racism. I’m proud that there are so many kind, worried, and anxious people, dying inside to right a wrong that they have no part in. They simply have watched an injustice and felt utterly helpless to solve it. 

I’m not here to pick sides or create a great political divide. I do not want petty arguments or debates about who was in the right. The truth of the matter is, an injustice was done, and everyone is crying out for recompense. 

The only way I know that this can ever be resolved is through the grace of Christ. God is good, and through His love, all can be healed. 

And even though God is good and we are all his children, it still doesn’t make the pain go away. It doesn’t take away another human’s God-given right to make their own choices and actions. 

I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I have none of the answers. I can’t tell you how this heart wrenching, overarching issue can begin to heal. I have no clue where to even look to try and solve it. 

All I can do is sit with you in it. I can acknowledge the pain and the injustices, and I can love you through it. 

The last several months have been crazy. That almost goes without saying. The pandemic? I can handle it. Self isolation and stir crazy toddlers? I got it. Home schooling and meeting teacher deadlines? Bring it on. Throw in an earthquake just to keep us guessing? Alright then. 

But seeing the pain and division brought on by racism? That is what breaks my heart. These are such heavy emotions, simply because I crave acceptance for everyone. Everyone has a God given right to make their own choices. Everyone has a right to a safe place and a culture and support network that loves and encourages them. And no one should have to worry about persecution based on race. No one. 

I can’t change this. I can’t heal the hurt. But I can sit with you in this. I can make room for one more. I am here with you, and I will be with you. And you are always welcome at my table. ❤️

 

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Shauna Westergard - Longarm Quilter