I started off this week by sharing breakfast with my friend Teresa, and I’ve had her on my mind ever since. Over an omelet and grits (her) and french toast with bacon (me), we talked about our families, our work and our plans. Our conversations never remain on this superficial level, and we invariably turn to matters of the heart. We spent some time talking about how we can each use our gifts and talents to make this world a better place.
Teresa uses her skills professionally in several ways. She is a part-time occupational therapist working with patients with mental health issues. She is also the director of the Senior Visitor Program which matches socially isolated senior citizens with trained volunteers who provide weekly home visits for free. She was encouraging me as I shared about the many ways this daily practice has become my way of showing kindness, and I asked her, in turn, how she might like to volunteer in the years ahead. Without hesitation, she replied, “I’d like to get back to reading to children, or letting them read to me. Like I did when my own kids were little, volunteering at their school. And I’d love to volunteer in the NICU to rock babies. There’s something about that contact, skin-to-skin.”
Sometimes we underestimate our own capacity for goodness. It doesn’t always come in a form we recognize, not quite the way we expect. It’s a blessing to have a friend who sees you for who you really are – in all your goodness and all your brokenness, too.
My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? –Bob Hope