We are here to serve others. What I gain for myself becomes little in value, until I give it away, if I use it to help others, if I simply act in kindness.
I receive many gifts, and I try to grow with them, deepening my heart, improving my potential to make a difference, to change the world, even with my small steps, and with only what talents and energies I have to give. If I just take them, and keep them close to me, then I fill up my world with stuff, and come to a point I cannot move, I cannot breathe.
There is no place in my heart for love to grow. In this giving, I am not insignificant. I can and do make a difference in this world. Change occurs because of loving and giving in the spirit of love, of paying things forward, to making connection with others. These acts, if done selflessly, altruistically, without condition, send love into the world, reaching those in need of unconditional love, to those in pain, needing to be healed. And, when I give, without condition, and without expectation, I am repaid. And, that “return” comes in so many ways, in so many abundances. I may not see the returns soon, or even after years. Often, I am blind to the “return” and the “profit”, but it is there nonetheless.
We plant our seeds, we throw our pebbles into the pond, and the sprouting of grain, and the ripples spreading on the water go where we often least expect them. But, they are there, doing our work, creating newness, recreating love, from what we have put out there.That energy continues, creating new seeds, and new ripples, all out of our hands, now. Yet, we moved that energy on, we shared, and gave, and thereby changed the world.
Sometimes, I am blessed to see the results, to hold the harvest of grain from the seeds I planted, to be washed by the waters moved from the pebble I tossed into the pond. Yet, the mystery, the treasure is in what I don’t see in what I’ve done.
This morning, a dear friend passed on, leaving me crying inside with grief. She lived a life of strength, of simply believing that unconditional love, without bias or hatred, or jealousy, or trying to keep it all for myself, does change the world. How can we go on, I wondered, if she is not here? How can I mend my bleeding heart?
How can I go on giving, when the world has taken so much away from me today?
Yet, within an hour, I felt her spirit rise in me, swirling in the air, like a dust devil in the desert, as I spoke with a young man I’m mentoring, him healing a bit, and finding he is worthy of not just my love, but his self love. I gave of myself freely, unselfishly, knowing that he needed my love now, no strings attached. I could have been bitter, sarcastic, disrespectful. I could have thought, well, what’s in it for me? Just let me be sad, let me grieve. Oh, woe is me. Yet, my friend’s spirit burned bright, calling me to be a giver, to simply give my love. The simplicity, the beautiful simplicity of that renewed me, calling me to be truly holy to my real heart.
Another young man in the coffee shop, shared with me his joy in finishing up his college degree, and moving ahead with his dream. He’s had a disappointment, a rejection, but already, he is moving on, stronger, more ready to succeed. And, a young woman, stopping to get coffee, telling me I’ve inspired her to go live her dreams. And, so, I am called to give, to simply give.
In grief, there is a reborning, a renewal of this spirit of life. I am simply passing that love on, I am a conduit, a vessel, a keeper, for a bit, of that flame.
This giving work, this is sacred work. It is our calling, now, and for all time.