Friday, March 5, 2010

Open Hearts

“The heart that gives, gathers”…My friend offered a prayer at the beginning of a meal and these 5 words were offered in humble supplication.

I have given this humble statement much thought and pondered the meaning of its words. One of my favorite sayings and the saying that will be on our headstone is, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” They are similar in meaning so here are my thoughts:

1. Nothing in life is just handed to you. Kindness begets kindness.
2. When you give of yourself freely and without expectations, you are blessed beyond measure.
3. We cannot make it alone…everyone needs and deserves to be loved.
4. When we share, we receive.

I have been the recipient more times than the giver, I’m afraid. I have amazing people in my life from all walks of life and all places on the earth. From each and every one, I receive and become a better person for having known them. I am the woman I am today because of the influences of the people I love and who love me.

We are ALL connected. I believe that we are connected through a Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally and expects us to “gather” our brothers and sisters here on earth. Who gives us the right to snub a total stranger just because he/she is someone we presently don’t know? Shouldn’t we be spreading kindness to all with whom we come in contact?

Several years ago, my dearest friend decided to change positions at her work. She went from being a Gate Agent to a Flight Attendant for the airline she worked for. She and I flew together to Las Vegas for the express purpose to say good-bye to her fellow employees before she started her new career venture. She printed up a heart-felt poem that encapsulated her feelings and carefully rolled it up and tied it with a lovely ribbon as a token of her love and appreciation for each person.

I figured we’d fly in, spend an hour and fly back…was I ever wrong! We arrived around 10:00 AM and didn’t leave until 4:00 PM. Not only did she give everyone a copy of the poem, she stopped to thank EVERYONE she saw whom she had any association with! Her appreciation was so heartwarming and sincere and the love that she exuded that day will live with me forever. My heart was touched.

Perhaps the most beautiful exchange I have ever seen between two people happened later that day. As we were heading to our gate to catch our flight, she stopped to speak with one of the janitors. He was a tired, broken down looking little man. He looked sad and downtrodden, unappreciated and almost embarrassed as he emptied one of the many trash cans in the concourse. I watched as she called him by name and tenderly took his two, filthy hands in hers and thanked him for the good job that he does every day in helping to keep her place of work clean and beautiful! She handed him a poem with a pretty ribbon. She went on to tell him that she will miss seeing his sweet smile everyday and that he lifted her each time she came to work. She expressed her love and concern for his family and asked God to bless them all.

Tears streamed down my face as I watched his tear-stained, worn and weary face and I saw a spark in his eyes that had been missing when I first laid eyes on him. He smiled, he listened, he cried and then they embraced. I will NEVER forget that moment in time when this beautiful woman stopped to just love this tired man. She validated him. She recognized his worth. She lifted him with Christ’s pure love and she changed his life! This man was her brother and she “gathered” him and welcomed him into her life.

Her heart gave and what it gathered was more precious than any of the world’s riches. I was filled and given the resolve to open my heart more and to give what I had. The lesson she taught me that day was more valuable than any college course I have ever taken. She blessed me with her example pure Christ-like Godly love that enriches our world. I will forever be grateful for her perfect example that day.


Donnetta said...

As I began reading this the word that came to mind was "generosity".

Now that I have finished I am challenged. How often am I generous with things? Even more importantly how often am I generous with myself, my time...the love of my Jesus? Oh that I would give so much more of Him and less of me!

For me it brings a whole new perspective to the word generosity that I will be thinking on for quite some time. Thank You.

Lynn said...

Oh wow. Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful story of your friend. Can you imagine how much better this world would be with more people like her in it? AMazing. I can hardly see to type these words with the tears in my eyes.....I have to keep back spacing. ; S

Thank you! You write with inspiring stories. What a great place to record them all. I am so sad now to find out that your other blog was completely deleted.

Hope you are backing up these beautiful pieces of your history on your computer. ; D