Saturday, July 17, 2021

Stronger than we seem... by Liz Flaherty

Sometimes awful things happen. They happen to good people, to bad people, to people we've never met, and to people we love. When these things riddle the lives of others, we are sorry for them. We pray for happy endings, for release from pain, for peace. Oh, yes, please, peace. 

And sometimes awful things are said, like He got what he deserved. Or My kid (husband, wife, sister, brother) would never do anything like that. Or I wouldn't have put up with that. I'd have... Or I always knew that would happen.

Why are those things awful? Because they don't help anybody, that's why.

I mean that, what I just said there. However, it would probably be more convincing if I'd never been guilty of saying those things. If I'd never been smug about anything. 

My prayers, while no more heartfelt, might be kinder if I were never righteous when I offered them. I wonder how many times I've said I would pray for someone or their situation and then forgotten to do it. Or how many times I've pontificated on the importance of forgiveness but locked a grudge up so tightly that it can't possibly break free. 


"Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages..."

Borrowed with thanks from

The circus starts today. Well, performances and the festival do. The months of preparation and labor started long before this. The fair was a few weeks ago, and other county fairs are sprinkling the state every week. These are things that involve kids--hundreds of them--and adults who help and encourage them. 

I have felt awfulness this week, but on Broadway in Peru, in fairgrounds exhibit halls, hope grows with all the beauty of community. Round bales and deer create still life tableaus in fields. Ice cream socials offer fellowship and friendship. There is music and art and pleasure to be heard and seen and felt.

So maybe prayers are answered--we just don't know how to listen or how to understand what the solutions are. I'm grateful for those answers among the awfulness. They make us strong, make us laugh, make us empathize and sympathize instead of saying awful things.  

Have a great week. Find hope in the detritus. Be nice to somebody. May all your days be circus days. 

Painting by Sarah Luginbill


  1. Great post, Liz! Thank you for the reminder to always be kind and to find the fun.