As we strolled along the Jacksonville Riverwalk late Saturday night, we found this hole where a brick used to be.  I snapped a picture and knew it had a message.

When I woke up this morning — that message came.

We all matter.  No matter how small we might feel in this world – when we are not there – the rest of us are not complete.

All of us have felt small at one time in our lives.  We’ve felt unwanted.  Uncared for.  Unloved.  Unnecessary.

Or if we never felt that way — we have loved ones who have.  And we have done our best to let them know that they are cared for.  They are wanted.  They are necessary.

Sometimes we can help them.  Sometimes we can get over those inward feelings about ourselves.  Other times — we fail and the hole appears and is forever there.

There are holes in relationships when one person departs.  There are holes in businesses when some fail to speak up because they feel too small.  There are holes in communities because we are too busy building buildings instead of building people.

There are holes in souls because we closed our hearts and lock our emotions inside.

When I look at that picture, I see a broken pathway.  A broken life.  A broken person.  A broken business.  A broken community.

I see a hole that can be fixed by pathway experts.  The part I play in this:  Call the City and alert them to this broken pathway.

And the same applies in broken relationships.  Call a relationship expert and work on it.  Don’t leave the hole there or it will surely get bigger if not cared for.

Then there is the small voice in the business who is scared to speak up.  All minds, all voices and all ideas matter.  You matter.  Speak up now or watch a business hurt or die because you chose to ignore your voice.

Our communities are screaming for leadership to work on the right problems now.  Never forget that the people of a community make the community.  Focus on the people – all the people – and fix the holes draining the goodness out of the city.

And for those who have holes in their souls — call on the One who knows your soul better than anyone – including you.  The Great Soul Man – our beloved Father God.  You will never be complete until that hole is filled with the power of His love.  Those soul holes can’t be repaired by other women or men, toys, drugs, or alcohol.  You can try but it’s a patch and will never heal your soul permanently.

If this message is for you – please know — you matter.  You matter more than you can imagine.  And just imagine your name on that missing brick above and see how incomplete the family, the business, the community or the world would be without you.

If this message is for a loved one — let them know they matter.  Pick up the phone.  Send them a love letter.  Remind them of their value.  Pay for counseling.  Do what you can to help them.

If this message is for a business — listen to all the voices at the table — and some inside the company you never let speak.  Maybe they see something you don’t.  Maybe they have the answer to the hole in the business and can fix the pathway to success.

If this message is for a community — choose wisely when you are in the voting booth.  Your community will be great if you choose those who focus on the right things and do the right things.

And if you see a hole in the pathway of your own life — don’t let it stay that way for long.  More bricks will collapse in on you and the costs will be bigger than you can imagine.  That’s the way it works – always.

Oh my goodness.  Who would have believed a missing brick on a city riverwalk would have such great meaning?  Only God knew.

For my friends on this beautiful Tuesday, I hope you’ll take a walk down your pathway of life.  Check for soul holes first — they are the most important ones to fill.

You do matter, remember that.



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