Monday, May 31, 2010

Day Fourteen - Where is The Love?

Today I decided to look for love in the unusual and strange places it hides at times.  I'm not talking about the 'butterfly, heart pounding out of your chest, silly gaga' kind of love.  I'm talking about the unexpected and spontaneous love that is innate in all of us {I believe}, even when we think that nobody gives a damn about anyone anymore.  I searched for the unconditional, transcendental love that we are all capable of but seem to forget that we possess the ability.

First, I saw love in church yesterday when a husband reached over and took his crying baby from his wife and quickly walked out of the mass so as not to disturb anyone.  True, you may say that is normal and that is what he should have done, but what I witnessed was something much deeper.  He gently put his hand on her lower back and as she turned to him, the intimate look in his eyes and the devoted smile on his lips said more than words could ever express.  His eyes said, "you are so stressed my darling, let me take the baby so you can pray."  And her lovely glance back at him as she handed over the baby spoke volumes of relief, gratitude and safety in the knowledge that someone had her back.  Again, as I usually do, I felt I had intruded on a very private moment, but I am so glad I saw it.  That was love.

Next, I watched what appeared to be a patient granddaughter helping her elderly grandparents out of the car and into the frozen yogurt shop where I sat enjoying my Sunday afternoon treat!  As most of us know, it takes enormous patience to go through all of the steps necessary to help an elderly person--much like caring for a young baby or toddler.  I watched her as she aided in getting the walker out of the trunk for her grandmother and gave her a gentle boost to get her out of the car safely.  She kindly and graciously listened to her grandfather direct her through the task.  It was apparent that he was hard of hearing and while most of us would be annoyed or embarrassed by the loud discussion--she was the opposite.  Tolerant, unflappable, and gracious.  I had so much admiration for her and it made me long for my own grandparents who both passed away in the last 24 months.  Not once through the whole process did this young woman ever show signs of weariness or distress.  Once in the yogurt shop, she did everything for them as they chose their flavors and toppings and even choosing a seat was a tedious ordeal, but she never lost her smile or gentle tone.  I realized at that moment that this was not a chore for her.  This was unconditional, genuine love for these two people and she was truly happy to do it.  As they enjoyed their yogurt and the beautiful day, I saw love again.

Random act of kindness for someone else?  Not really.  I think I did something kind for myself today.  I made myself remember that people do have goodness and merit and from this day on, that is the truth I will seek from others.

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."
~ Mother Teresa 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day Thirteen - Can I buy you Lunch?

Today I met a friend for lunch at a popular local spot and whenever I go there, I can't help but feel like I'm supporting the neighborhood and I enjoy the atmosphere and sense of community.  This afternoon as I munched on my BLT and chatted with my girlfriend, I noticed a lovely older couple across the dining room.  What struck me the most about them was the fact that they gazed at each other as they ate and they held hands across the table.  I couldn't help staring and I felt like I was intruding on a very private and intimate moment.  Their love for each other was evident and seeing their twinkling eyes filled my heart with joy.  They really made me happy and I thought, "every couple should look like that."  So I did something a little impulsive--when our check came, I asked the waitress to please include that couple's check with mine and don't tell them I paid for their lunch.  She seemed uncomfortable and I could understand why, but I really wanted to do this random and unexpected thing for the couple.  I told her when the couple asked for the check, just tell them that someone who they gave hope to bought their lunch!  I quickly gathered my things and left the restaurant before I was discovered.  Their lunch cost me about $10, but that was nothing compared to what they had given me.  All afternoon I wondered what their reaction was when they found out.  They may have been freaked out--I hope not.  I hope they were surprised and perhaps one day they will pay it forward!

"Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."
~ Mother Theresa