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The Power of Moments: How a smile or a hello can be a mini-miracle

Friday, February 10, 2017

By Reverend Vona Wilson, YMCA Chaplain

As much as we tend to think there is “not enough time,” the truth is that every moment is a miracle. And it only takes one moment for life to dramatically change. In my early career as a paramedic, I learned a great deal about the power of moments in the back of an ambulance. But my first real learning came as a teenager when my brother died in a car accident. He disappeared in an instant, a moment. I still miss his unforgettable smile.

A couple of weeks ago at one of our centers, an artist sat in the lobby working on a charcoal piece all day long. I passed by a couple times, and then I stopped to say hello and check out his art. We spoke for a few minutes. As I was leaving, I apologized for interrupting his process and he replied, “Hey, thanks. It’s nice that someone actually spoke to me today.”

I wondered how many times I have passed him or others by. There were 1,440 minutes in that 24-hour day, but I will remember the one moment he spoke those words.

Shared moments with youth

As I write this, it is just past 2:30 p.m. School is letting out, but many kids won’t be heading home yet. Instead, thousands of students across Middle Tennessee will find their way into YMCA after-school programs like Fun Company, YCAP, Achievers and others.

The moments we share with youth are opportunities for little miracles as well: a smile, help with homework, playing a game, taking time to offer loving guidance. We have an amazing opportunity to impact children's lives in our community. And you, our members and volunteers, help make these moments possible.

Local leaders' significant moments

Last month, local clergy and Metro Police Department leaders met here at the Y to begin conversations that will help us develop deeper relationships. It was a two-hour meeting. 120 minutes. New friendships were formed, and some barriers started to break down during that time.

Last week, a Metro police officer lost his life trying to save a suicidal woman. When Officer Eric Mumaw went on duty that morning, he expected to come home that evening. The lady had lost hope, and expected her life to end that day. But, she is alive. Officer Mumaw is not; at least, not on earth. It’s unfathomable what can happen in a matter of moments.

Seize your moments

The YMCA is one of the places God has given all of us to shine light and hope in dark places. The moments we hold, however messy or spectacular they may be, and wherever they may be, are precious.

Your smile, your hello, your mentoring, your teaching, your coaching and training—all of it is an opportunity to make someone else’s moment unforgettable. How can a smile or a hello be a miracle? If it is the only one, or the last one, or the most meaningful one for that person in the exact moment they need it…then it holds the power of a miracle.

Let’s pray together

Lord, we are so grateful to have your love inside us to share with someone in our path every day. Help us to appreciate the moments in our lives. Teach us to honor the moments in others’ lives. We especially pray for the Metro Police Dept. and the hearts that are heavy at the death of a colleague and friend. Please give them strength as they walk through the questions and the grief. And for the moments we share in the YMCAs, Lord help us to live them well. We love and trust you. It is an honor for us to serve in a way that shines your light. Amen.

Learn more about the Y's Spirit and Mind Ministries

At the Y, we know that growing in spirit, mind and body is the surest path to holistic well-being. Our library of Spirit and Mind workshops, seminars and small group classes is designed to support growth in physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health.

YMCA of Middle Tennessee

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1000 Church St.
Nashville, TN 37203
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