Beautiful Messes

On Christmas Eve I woke at 2 am, after only two and a half hours of sleep, to get something done and later had just an hour and a half nap so I was already tired by nightfall.

As soon as I could get my body moving I headed to a church filled with more than 100 people in need to learn how volunteers can help.
Stock photo of a church by NeONBRAND
The place was hive of activity  with volunteers sorting through clothes and handing out the clothes to those who have the lack of them, cooking a meal and serving it, and  running stations where the needy could clean themselves. Translators were making phone calls to help these poor, tired people make travel arrangements to friends and family and other translators were here, there and everywhere just trying to make things run smoothly. Among them was a pastor and his wife and others going from person to person,  comforting them, counseling them, guiding them, hugging them.
Clothing donations being sorted before arrival of needy - photo by C. Bishop
Clothing donations being sorted before arrival of needy – photo by C. Bishop

It was a Beautiful Mess. It wasn’t chaos, as there was some sense of order to it, but as usually happens in a crisis it was in a bit of disarray. A Beautiful Mess of uncounted people working together, both at the church,  at home and other places behind the scenes.

It wasn’t my first time seeing a Beautiful Mess. Just a few short weeks before,  I had entered a warehouse where furniture, dishes, clothing, backpacks, crayons, colorbooks and hygiene items are donated to help refugees, asylees and others. Pleas had been made to social media and the donations poured in.

It took some time and amazing women and men to get everything organized, but before that I stood there on that day, looked around that warehouse and saw the love of hundreds for thousands of people and that is when “beautiful chaos” came to mind. After thinking about it though, “Beautiful Mess” fits it better.

I’m not going to pretend chaos is pretty thing. When things get too chaotic you can’t find items,  you can’t move,  problems occur and that’s where I found myself the night of Christmas Eve.

Somehow, as someone observing one process piece, I found myself right in the middle of organizing it. I’m sure that being tired didn’t help my emotions, but I was scared that I would be the cause, by my neglect, of harm coming to one of these wonderful people in need.

I looked at the stack of papers in my hand after I had been working on them for hours and I knew I just couldn’t do this part on my own, so I decided that after one more thing I was going to step out, take a deep breath and pray.

That is when the pastor’s wife came over to me and asked how I was doing.  I was going to try to be fairly upbeat when my mouth opened,  but it betrayed me and let her know that I wasn’t alright and that I needed  help as well.

She went away for a few minutes and I was just about to head out the door when I found the pastor and his wife behind me, telling me to trust in the Lord, that this was in his hands.  They laid their hands on my shoulders and the pastor’s wife pronounced an angelic prayer over me in Spanish while the pastor translated.

My daughter, next to me, and I wept over her heavenly words and through it, I started to feel more energized, inspired and at peace.

Heart created out of hands - Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

That Beautiful Mess taught me that when we, as humans, come together to help humanity things can get messy,  noisy, unorganized, but somehow Love lifts our spirits into place, picks up the pieces we have dropped and heals hearts.  We, all, as a body of people can become one and create a haven in the midst of chaos for those who need it most and somehow, those like me, find they are the ones being healed.

Where have you found a Beautiful Mess?