I went to bed Saturday night filled with grief for my Fargo. I say “my Fargo” because after living there for ten years and having two babies in its hospitals, it became mine.

I began getting updates online when the peaceful protest turned violent. My heart ached for the downtown shop owners who waited to see if the front windows of their businesses would be destroyed.

The ache is on top of heartbreak over George Floyd’s death and the continual fear that has become common place in our country for so many of our people, based on what they look like.

I laid in bed Saturday night and asked God how I could help. Please God, help me help others. Guide me. Make me your vessel.

I reminded God that I grew up in a small town with maybe three kids in my school who weren’t white. I never heard racist comments because I never heard comments about race at all. It was as if there was nothing to talk about.

So here I am, sitting in South Dakota wondering what in the world I can possibly do to help. Yes vote. Yes sign the petitions for change. Yes donate to organizations who are helping victims and holding people accountable.

But what else?

As I lay in my bed, it seemed as though God was sitting there on the edge talking me through it.

Don’t judge. You yourself will be bound by the measure of judgement you use on others.

Go back to the basics. Love God. Love others. Start here in your home. Then broaden your view.

I’m reminded by the phrases, “Love God. Love others,” how often God will put someone in my path who could use a little kindness. I don’t even have to search them out. I just have to be available when they show up. I have to notice.

Maybe you’re wondering what to do, too. Is there really anything that could make a difference? Yes. Kindness always changes the equation. Even if we can’t infuse kindness directly into the heart of the hurt, we can start where we are and trust that with God’s help, it will ripple much farther than we could ever ask or imagine.