"Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others." Barbara Bush
It was a different kind of Christmas. The kind I really liked. We spent the whole day helping - serving meals to people who had nowhere to go...no one to share the holiday with. We were it. We were their supports...their family...their friends for a few hours on Christmas Day.
As I did whatever I was asked - talked to people, served meals, goofed around with the kids....I thought of those people who had reached out to me when I lived on the street...when I had no one...when I owned nothing...when darkness was all I knew.
Now I was paying it forward. Now I could do what those people did for me. They would never know the seeds of hope they had planted with their caring and their gifts of kindness. I had struggled so much with trust...but still - something of their kindness broke through the walls that padded my heart. It was in their eyes. It was in their voice. They'll never know the impact they made. And maybe some even thought...she's just a drug addict, a street kid...what we give her won't really make a difference....but it did. It wasn't the 'things' they gave me....it was their kindness, their compassion, their caring.
Kindness reaches a place that nothing else can. It's not in things, or gifts - it's a feeling that comes from the heart; a feeling that shows, 'I care about you. I really care. You're worth something.'
I don't like to be touched too much, but I shook lots of hands and hugged a lot of people on Christmas day -The mother who ran from her abusive husband and was living at woman's shelter with her five kids, the elderly woman who was all alone, the 15 year old who told me she wanted to be a fashion designer and hated being at a place that wasn't home, the 11 year old with the big black eyes who suffers with kidney problems, the older man whose wife had died a few years ago, never had kids and had no one to celebrate the holidays with. And there were more. Many more. All with their own stories of trying to survive the best they could.
And a plug for my girls. I am totally proud of them. They jumped in helping to serve, cleaning up, doing whatever they were asked. I asked them if they were ok that we did this instead of being with friends...my oldest told me she loved being able to give and my youngest smiled and said, 'it was fun.'
And I thought of you guys. I hoped you were all ok.
You know what makes the difference? Knowing He loves me no matter what and the kindness I've been given by others.
An Overseas Tale...
5 days ago