Sunday, March 4, 2012

In Your Eyes

In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete

In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches

In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
The heat I see in your eyes

Every so often you have an experience that has an impact on your soul. It could be a day of sadness, a day of joy, or a day of reflection. Whichever it is, hopefully you are wise enough to recognize it and note it down in your book of life so you will remember it for the rest of your days. While these experiences don't appear too often, I believe they reside all around us, waiting for recognition. Last Sunday was such a day, a day when I did not only see the impact with my eyes. I saw it through the eyes of others. For those who attended, I saw it, In Your Eyes.

Last year's event was such a great time we committed to do it again. Donna and I started our preparation back in December and after the New Year, took off with a passion. We outlined our fundraising goal, spread the word across email and Facebook, gathered friends to join us, and eventually raised over $5000. We also supported Emma as she started up a new MDA club at her high school. The new club became an opportunity for students to get involved in something bigger than themselves and have some fun. The kids did a great job raising money through some unusual methods and built up great team spirit by making custom shirts for the event.

The day of the Muscle Walk was filled with some expected emotions and some unexpected ones. The expected ones were anticipation, a bit of nervousness, and joy. Anticipation encompassed us as we watched our fundraising grow right along with the list of walkers. Nervousness set in just days before as we realized that each walker would need to have their own waiver. Finally, joy encompassed us when we arrived at the event and began to see the smiling faces of everyone who came to support us. Some we expected to see while others were a welcome surprise.

The unexpected emotions came as the walk was to begin. For those who don’t know, Maddie was recently chosen as MDA’s Pennsylvania State Goodwill Ambassador for 2012. Her job is to support the activities of the MDA in our area, be a leading face to those active in the events, and to say thank you to all who donate their time and money to benefit kids and adults with Muscular Dystrophy. She has participated in a couple events so far, but the Muscle Walk has been the biggest to date, as she would have the honor of cutting the ribbon to start the walk.

As I stood on the opposite site of the ribbon to take Maddie’s photo, I noticed something I did not last year. Last year I was in the crowd, walking with our friends, and pretty much just taking in the experience. This time I had the unique opportunity to see the faces of everyone at once and I noticed something inspiring. As my camera lens zoomed in on Maddie preparing to cut the ribbon, I saw the true reasons for the day. I saw belief; I saw pride; and I saw love. The belief was in the eyes of the families who knew the money raised at this event would continue to help their own. I saw pride by those afflicted by muscular dystrophy as they prepared to show that despite some challenge, they too would “walk” today. Finally, I saw love in the eyes of every volunteer, friend, and coworker who were here not for themselves, but to openly show that they care about someone. It was in the eyes that I saw the spirit of the day.

My good friend Greg volunteered to take photos of the event so everyone would be able to remember who was there and what fun they had. He’s posted the photos up to the website, so please click on the link and check them out. As you’ll see, he did an awesome job capturing the spirit of the day much better than I could with these few short words. To help along with capturing the spirit, we've also put together a short video below and at which we hope you enjoy.

So, if you are in our area next year and want to join us for the Muscle Walk, you are most welcome. If you are not, visit the MDA site and look for a walk in your area. I can’t promise we will be able to join you in person, but we will be rooting you on from a distance.  What I can promise is that you will leave the event with a smile on your face, joy in your heart, and a spirit that will live on….

In your eyes in your eyes
In your eyes in your eyes
In your eyes in your eyes

Keep Walking!

Credit to: Peter Gabriel, "In Your Eyes"

The included video is having some trouble so please check it out on YouTube by clicking the following link: