Welcome to the Hearth

Welcome to the Hearth

Friday, January 11, 2008

What would Love do?

I watched quietly over the months she lived next door to our little shop, observing her comings and goings. Single mothers have a lot to contend with and she seemed to do her best to give her little son a happy, safe home. She kept to herself, so I never heard her story. As each of the holidays approached she did her best to decorate and celebrate with her child. She had Halloween decorations which ended up blowing into the bushes. For a while, there was a king sized mattress and box springs with a "free" sign on it parked outside the door. I worried that all the rain coming down would make it unsuitable for anyone to sleep on. I found myself entertaining little "ninja thoughts," ok, they were judgements, about how trashy things were looking around her door. She bravely tried to decorate for Christmas putting little snow flake decorations in the tree in front and somehow the tree didn't look as sad and lonely as the little house appeared. One day, about two weeks ago she very quickly moved out, leaving unwanted "free" things in little stacks under the tree. As one wind storm after another blew in, these little stacks of cups and saucers, a coffee maker and other "left-behinds" began to become broken, unsightly and trashed. Each day I became more and more focused on the trash, and less and less compassionate towards the one who had left in such a hurry. Finally, this morning as I sat in my parked car beside the curb and very near the mess, I found myself praying a silent prayer for the whole, sad scene, both outside and within. In the quiet of that moment, Grace descended upon me and I heard the words loud and clear form in my heart-space: "Kathryn, what would Love do?" Instantly I knew what needed to be done. I donned a pair of work gloves I had in my car and got a black plastic bag and cleaned up the whole area. With each shattered piece of glass, tea cup shard and half buried Halloween decoration, I drew a heart around this lonely little place and around the dear soul who had last lived there. I knew the best and only right thing I could do was help a sister in need do what needed to be done, that she herself was, for whatever reason, unable to do. I found waves of love go out from me and surround this place. A little beauty wanted to blossom where Love had created a space.

I am in gratitude for all the ways I have been supported through the hard things I have had to do in my life. When the chips were down, I always had many helping hands to get me through it. I realized it made me obligated to give back, to "pay it forward" for someone else who may have needed just a little more support than she had. I just hope the next time there is an opportunity to reach out and be love in action, it doesn't take me so long to get a clue...sigh

15 comments:

lucy said...

beautiful bold post. a great question to pose..."what would Love do?"

miss*R said...

you know, sometimes it is just so difficult to get past our human-ness.... but to draw a circle of love around someone or to send love to a person is 'all' we can do... Love is all we need .. xoox

dolci said...

This post speaks volumes about the love that we as people should share with one another.

Kelly said...

You're human, that's all. We all have to grapple with that part of us that wants to judge others. Everyone from the Dalai Lama to me to you has an ego. Without it, how would we ever experience that moment of Grace you describe? What would salvation be for? And isn't it the sweetest miracle when Love descends?

ladybug said...

We do tend to struggle with when is the right moment to step forward and step into someone's world. Not knowing if we'll seen as a welcome visitor or a trespassing menace.

I think that regardless of the fear of our expectations, it is worth the risk to step up and step forward from a place of love. Even if you do so silently and unseen.

What would happen to our world if we all started paying small favors and kindnesses to others we share this world with? Would we all become lazy and take advantage of the extra work that others seem happy to do for us? Possibly some might...but I tend to believe that like attracts like and love generates love...let's all put on our white gloves and offer someone a seen or unseen kindness this week.

blessings

A bird in the hand said...

I will remember this and be open to moments of grace.

Thank you.

Rebecca said...

I will take this post with me today as I go out into the world and I will draw a heart around the people and situations I come into contact with.

Blessed be! Life is good
Rebecca

Lisa said...

Sister Kathryn...your dream bowls are beautiful and so is this post. Love and grace has been asking me lately how can I "just be" with people who are negative. Learning to be more accepting of those individuals I judge is an ongoing and BIG life lesson for me. It's challenging to allow and acknowledge another human being to just be who they are when you feel their attitude or actions aren't adding love and light to the world. Letting go is a daily practice, isn't it?

Perhaps our paths will cross this spring when Carla ventures on down to the Oregon coast? I live in Cannon Beach and would love to visit the Sophia Center and meet you. Thank you again for writing a post that reminds us to be more accepting and loving to all.

sorrow11 said...

What would love do?
That is something I am going to take, and keep close to my heart, thank you for making a gift out of your insights.
namaste

TZT said...

I've just imagined entire neighborhoods that I regularly drive through in a whole new way.

Thank you for this lovely post.

David said...

Kathryn,

What a lovely post. I remember you from many moons ago when I was a Board member. It was a treasure to be part of Sophia's community; I still have the handcrafted plate you gave us at our Board dinner. I do a lot of work with stories these days, and your piece reminded me yet again the power in shifting to a compassionate frame. Thank you.

miss*R said...

I have read some of your book.. just yesterday and I realized that when I am out shopping at a mall (not that I do it alot) - instead of getting angry at people for being who they are, I must draw a heart of love around them.. and I did that yesterday.. and it helped.. me and I surely hope that it helped them as well..
I know I do tend to be very judgemental and I hate it - I am trying so hard to change this.. so I guess, I must surround myself in a heart also! Sr. K, you are brilliant and I am so thankful that our paths have crossed.

Marie said...

Thank you for the reminder to "be love in action." Sometimes it is not enough to speak love...and it is those women like you mentioned who don't have enough hands to hold their own.

I appreciate your post.

Lillithmother said...

Hi Kathryn, I bookmarked your blog a while back and haven't been back since then...

And what an inspiring post to return to! I and my mother have both had experience's where that inner voice said something similar..."do it with love", "your love will keep you together". No one can tell me those messages were not from a Divine source. Those words encouraged my mother and I move mountains...to relook at our moment of despair from a vantage point of love's healing salve. Dollops of Love's salve is good all around...thank you for the reminder!

peace,
Lillithmother

ps. can't remember how i found you, but i'm glad i did!

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