Live Like LucasThe non-profit organization Live Like Lucas was founded in August of 2015 in order to accomplish the goal of empowering youth to spread kindness. Our first official event was on January 16, 2016 where we had over 200 youth as well as adults participate in service projects and random acts of kindness in the Grand Rapids area. We served a pancake breakfast at Park church, made over 100 lunches and hygiene kits and distributed them to the poor along Division avenue. We made breakfast and did activities with the children at Hope Community, which is temporary housing for single moms and their children. We went to nursing homes and played bingo and bowling with the elderly. We distributed fifty 10.00 gift cards at Meijer as a random act of kindness. The result of just this one day was astounding. The volunteers had their eyes opened to situations that they had never been in before and met people unlike they had ever encountered. They saw people in poverty as real, worthy, human beings who weren’t just lazy. They saw the elderly, as one student put it “peppy and funny and mischievous.” They connected with people who were far outside of the Forest Hills “bubble.” And they wanted to go back. They wanted to do more. They asked, “When can we do this again?” Live Like Lucas is not just about spreading kindness out on the streets of Grand Rapids but also in our schools. We are currently researching programs and speakers to encourage our youth to practice kindness EVERY DAY- not just to their own friends but to those who feel alone and disenfranchised. We want to encourage friendships across all social, racial, and socio-economic boundaries. Teaching kindness also needs to start young. We are working on a program with “Lucas puppets” for the social workers to use to teach lessons on being kind to others and encourage conversation about sadness and loneliness and bullying. The kids will be able to put letters to Lucas in a mailbox so they can express their feelings and in turn the social workers can address these issues. One especially powerful method of learning about kindness in a global way is through mission projects. Our goal for next summer is to fund or partially fund at least 10 trips to Guatemala for kids who would otherwise be unable to go due to financial concerns. Lucas went 2 years ago with my grandparents and it was life changing for him to see the utter poverty and lack of medical care that was available for these people they visited in remote villages. He was prompted to really think about what his future looked like- he had planned on going into the medical field and now felt drawn to the mission field. Live Like Lucas has a vision of youth who look outside of themselves, look outside of wealth and power and popularity as goals and really see the world as how it is- full of hurting people. Even a small act of kindness can turn someone’s day around. It may even change their life.
Monthly Archives: May 2016
It is a gorgeous sunny Saturday- the sun couldn’t be brighter, the trees any greener, the sky any bluer.
My eyes keep filling with tears blurring the sun, the trees, the sky; obscuring their beauty. The tears make my eyes sting, throat ache, my heart feel like a big heavy rock.
I don’t want to feel like this. I don’t want to blog like this. I’m so tired, so tired of hurting yet I know their isn’t an end in sight…yet.
It’s prom tonight. It’s mother’s day tomorrow. The fields are full of baseball players running and hitting and sliding and catching in green grass stained pants. The world is still just a spinning away, each rotation bringing a new dawn and a fresh start and every day my son is not here. Every day feels like he gets further away; more of the world’s history gets piled on top of the year and four-ish months since he has not been a part of it.
It’s just so heartbreaking I feel like if the pain were shards of glass piercing my heart I would be dead in second.
I’m working on my candles today because I need a whole bunch of them for the Painted Farmgirl flea market next Saturday. It would be a welcome distraction if it weren’t for my kids also fighting and screaming at each other so I have to stop every two minutes and try to referee. I would let them just go at it but one of them is four so most often he is involved. He also desperately wants me to play trucks with him and go to the park. In a few minutes, I keep saying, in a few minutes.
I’m using an electric sander and it grinds away the imperfections in the glass slowly and tediously but yet it is satisfying. Taking a rough bumpy surface and making smooth and beautiful. I have bumped my finger on the sand paper a few times and made it bloody and raw. Like my heart.
I am being sanded. It hurts so bad, it takes so long, but eventually; eventually will emerge a shiny smooth surface. Quite a few of the bottles have a divot that is too big to sand out. It is simply imperfect; yet beautiful in it’s own way. I know I have a divot or two that may never sand out.
I was watching a movie last night and the Father is speaking to his Son whose Wife is in a coma. He says “life breaks all of us to some degree or another. If is doesn’t break you it kills you.”
I’m not entirely sure how true that is but I pondered it. Without a doubt we are all broken… it’s called sin. How much each individual feels broken; I don’t know. We cannot see into everyone’s hearts. I’m sure there are a great many people more broken than they care to let on or admit.
I only know my experience and how many ways I have tried to frame in my head what happened and why. How many times I have tried to fit the puzzle piece of his death into my idea of what life should be and found it the completely wrong shape. There are so many things that just don’t make sense in any way. The only to cope is to lay it at God’s feet and say, “you are the creator of the universe and my mind is simply not capable of understanding.”
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8
I know that suffering is something to be thankful for. As bitter a pill that is to swallow.
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
My favorite: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18.
Sanding though rough, painful, tedious leads to beauty.
Suffering is part of the bumpy winding path which leads to Heaven.
Happy Mothers day <3