“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” ~ Charles Dickens
A few weeks ago, an older gentleman came into church before mass began and sat in an area typically reserved for the choir. There was no choir that day so no one paid him much attention. When the music began he rose to his feet and started to conduct an invisible orchestra – invisible, at least, to us. With great passion, and movement, he was lost in the music for the entire song.
After, an usher quickly escorted him to the nearest front pew. Without the music, he was agitated and unsettled; he was becoming a distraction and a concern. A grandmother with young ones relocated. Hushed whispers and side glances took over half of the sanctuary. Tension was growing.
A man my age, a father of two teenagers, someone I say hello to and smile each week, slid into the pew beside him. Not saying a word, he simply put his hand on the man’s shoulder. He kept it there and the man became less agitated. He settled in. The man’s wife soon joined him on the other side. Every time whatever energy was in his mind started to pick up again, a simple touch of the hand was enough to calm his mind, his heart and perhaps his spirit.
I had tears in my eyes for most of the mass – it was among the most beautiful, kind and generous things I have seen one human being do for another.
Grand gestures and intense support for those in need are no doubt needed in this world. And this is the time of year when our neighbors who struggle with homelessness, illness, abuse and challenges beyond our comprehension, are closest to our hearts (and wallets).
Equally needed, however, is the sharing our humanity through a simple touch, smile or word. It is enough. Looking at the world through a lens of love and compassion. It is enough. Committing to serving everyone we meet with an open heart. It is enough.
Give big this holiday season. Whatever calls you – go all in.
Smile all the time. To everyone. No matter what.
Show patience and tolerance. To everyone. No matter what.
Be humble. To everyone. No matter what.
Be generous. To everyone. No matter what.
Trish Rohr is a writer :: avid reader :: nonprofit founder :: yogi
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