Sunday, April 4, 2010

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person ~ Mother Teresa

     For months now, I've been struggling with a strong pull to somehow make a difference in this world.  Maybe it's the fact that I turned 50 this year, or the nagging feeling that I am taking up space on this earth without making a contribution; but either way, I've known for a while that I am being called to a greater purpose--I just didn't know what it was. Sitting in Mass last night during the Easter Vigil, I was moved by the beautiful service in the tiny little church we were visiting in Dillon, Colorado--aptly named "Our Lady of Peace." Each parishioner held a candle in the darkened church and as I was enveloped in the strong smell of incense and got lost in the readings, I felt at peace.  I glanced around and to the right of the altar, a family sat in a darkened corner.  I noticed they had arrived a bit late and did not receive a candle.  Instinctively and without hesitation, I walked over to the mother of the family and handed her my candle.  Our eyes met for a moment and I not only saw, but also felt the gratitude as she looked at me.  It was at that moment that I knew . . . a simple act of random kindness was all it took to bring happiness to another.  It didn't cost me a thing and I expended little effort, but with that single gesture, I knew I made a difference to someone.  My mind began to reel . . . was this what I was being called to do?  If I were to make just one such gesture a day, would it make a difference?  Could my kindness possibly encourage others to be kind? Just like the experiment in the movie "Pay it Forward," I wondered what it would be like if we all took just a moment a day to show unsolicited warmth and concern for another.  It sounds so simple, and yes--I am a dreamer, but on the other hand, is there a down-side? At the very least, it will make me a better person and at best . . . well, who knows?

And just like the candle in mass last night, I want to spread Christ's light to others as He calls us to do.  So starting tomorrow, I pledge to make one random gesture of kindness to another every day for the next year.  If you read this blog, try it yourself and share your random acts and the responses you get and maybe together we can start a ground-swelling of selflessness.

"In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love" ~ Mother Teresa

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