I am going to take a break from writing my blogpost every week. We’ve been at it for more than 4 years!
Can you believe it? Me neither.
Like most every college student, Tyler is home from Auburn and our family is all together here in Alexander City, Alabama. Every chair is filled with remarkable young men, and a couple of ol’ schoolers.
Our blessings outweigh any of our own fears because we know that God has the whole world in his hands.
My singular priority during these uncertain days is my family. Talk about limitless family time!
I will return when everything is clear.
In the meantime, we, at ryanshines.com, will continue to abide with you in unbreakable faith, hope and love.
I’m sitting here tonight thinking of the Asian artist who was commissioned by a Texan to paint a picture. When the picture was complete, over in the left corner of the canvas was the branch of a blossoming cherry tree, and a small bird was perched upon a branch. The whole rest of the painting was a vast white space. The Texan was very unhappy with the outcome. “Please fill up this canvas. That’s what I am paying you for!”
But the artist refused, saying, “Sir, if I do that, there will be no room for the bird to fly.”
In our rewarding work at RyanShines we welcome so many fragile little birds who have been grounded by their burns.
Each one is an original–a one-of-a-kind Child of God. Every pediatric burn survivor is sent to us without “operating instructions.”
We discover their unique needs by loving them, listening to them and by witnessing their innate instinct to spread their wings and fly.
Not one of them has lost their wings. No fire can touch the gift of wings they were born with.
It takes tender care and fierce love to help them grow. These are all normal little children no different than yours and mine.
We work with them and their parents to restore their dreams of flying without fear.
In the past year, we have introduced you to Jenna, Brantson, Cameron, Kaleigh, Louie, Jadah, Brody, Lucas, Lovely, Alex, LeDreshia and so many more of our burn children.
These brave girls and boys have shared their frighteningly sad stories to hundreds of strangers. They have endured unimaginable pain.
Many will undergo multiple surgeries that could continue throughout their childhood.
Every week we will paint their profiles in courage for you. As always, you will admire them and draw rich inspiration from them.
But every last one of us must take a step beyond admiration.
To be blunt, we cannot meet the deep needs of these special children without you.
As you invest your time and treasure in what you believe in, allow your personal vision to include the earthy and air-born mission of RyanShines.
I’m glad you’ve agreed to partner with me on our Adventure. But, first, I need to warn you about something.
Do you remember the poster of the robo-cat hanging onto the rope with a knot on the end? It’s the one with the caption, “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on?”
I have lived by this manta as long as I can remember.
Everything about it sounded true.
It was the only way I knew to be safe&secure.
But, like cotton candy, you take a big bite, get the explosion of sugar, then when you bite down to savor it, it’s already gone.
But we’re here talking about something that lasts: moving forward from “I” to “we.’’ It’s a fairly scary move in that it’s all about trust. The opposite of fear is ‘’trust.’’
I have a friend who’s dad took him into the backyard with one of those kitchen ladders, and he told his young son, “Step up to the second step, turn your back to me, and just fall into my arms.”
So the boy did.
And his dad stepped aside so that the boy crashed to the ground. His dad leaned over him and said, “The sooner you realize you can’t trust anyone, the better.”
No wonder this guy has been tying a knot in the rope and hanging on for more than 60 years. But I think, for the first time, he’s slowly beginning to trust again.
I understand how this feels. Especially when it comes to relating to women. It’s my instinct to tie a knot in the rope and hang on all by myself, never entertaining the possibility to trust. But lately I’m hearing a quiet voice, maybe God’s own Voice, that says, “Go for it, Dawn. Take a chance. Then, take another chance.”
Believe it or not, I want to trust women’s intentions again.
I hear myself, sometimes, sounding so cynical and I’m not positive I can change.
There are no guarantees, but maybe it’s enough that we travel together with hearts full of Hope.