Nothing is certain and nothing can be taken for granted.

My planned “Happy New Year” wish to my readers seems hollow in the face of a phone call I just received telling me that a fine young man who was in my daughter's high school class and whose parents are friends of mine was killed yesterday in a small plane crash here in the Shenandoah Valley. My heart aches knowing the pain and loss that lie ahead for so many who loved him. This community is reeling…it is just beyond understanding.

This Heartspoken blog explores the Power of Connection, but at times of tragic loss, even life's most essential connections seem so fragile. We shout our “Why?” to the heavens and can't hear an answer. Is our connection with God lost?

I believe that especially in the midst of tragedy or hardship, connections become even more important, and the strength of the connections we've made in good times will serve us well in the tough times. When we feel that our own faith is gone, we are sustained by the faith of others. When we don't think we can possibly go on, we realize that others have rallied around to help us stand until we have the strength to stand on our own.

So I hope that those of us who find ourselves at the beginning of this new year in a good place of abundance and happiness will first give thanks for our current good fortune and then reach out to someone less fortunate. Write a note. Make a phone call. Pay a visit. Volunteer your time. Make a donation. Each is making a connection with someone in need. Each is adding life-giving water to the well of love from which we all need to draw eventually.

And if you are one of the many who are hurting, hungry, homeless, or hopeless, please remember that you are not alone. Don't give up without looking for a connection to someone who wants to help, because the transaction of love is two-way. Without a receiver, there can be no giver.

Nothing is certain and nothing can be taken for granted. Strengthen those essential connections while you can.

Photo credit: Daniel Nabil-
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