“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” John Joseph Powell
It’s all about connection. I’ve been paying attention to the connections that we make over the last few weeks. I mean really paying attention, and I have got to say it really leaves me inspired. One small connection can mean the world of difference for someone. Whether it is a listening ear, a helping hand or a simple smile.
A Neighbor contacted us about a woman that had arrived from Syria. She was concerned about this woman as she had seven children and they had been living in refugee tents for four years. They had nothing and needed everything. She brought the women in to see me, and three of the children. The eldest girl picked out a few things for herself and her sisters, who were unable to come. We found things for all of the children, even the two little ones which was an added bonus. The Mother from Syria did not speak much English, but her eyes spoke volumes. She looked at me as I packaged up their things with such gratefulness that I felt it in my heart. I couldn’t help but look back into those beautiful eyes, and offer a smile of encouragement. I then asked the young teenager if she could ask her Mom if we could get her a few things as well. As her daughter spoke to her the Mom’s face lit up at the prospect of having a few things for herself. We found a few dresses and a winter coat and shoes. I thanked the neighbor for her kindness in reaching out to us to make a difference for this family. And with hugs all around, they left. It was one small gesture on the part of the neighbor, creating a connection that hopefully made a lasting difference to this family.
The feeling stayed with me for a few days, when I had a call from a Teacher who wanted to know if she could bring one of her students in as she had holes in her leggings and the teacher didn’t want her to start being bullied. She apparently had a younger sister as well, so I asked her to bring them both in and we could see what we could find. The girls arrived with the teacher and looked a little unsure to begin with, but as I encouraged them to find themselves a few things they perked right up. The Teacher and I watched as they paraded their new outfits for us, and I could have sworn they were different kids than arrived. When we had their bags full, I asked them to come and choose something to give to Mom for Christmas. I gave them each a gift bag and they chose a piece of jewelry each for mom and taped it all up. Laughs and giggles at the prospect of the surprise. It struck me again that this teacher had established a connection that didn’t exist for these girls and hopefully left a lasting impact.
And then as the universe will sometimes do, I was provided with a number of opportunities where I ran into people that just needed for someone to listen to them. It was like their eyes connected with mine, and they just spilled the beans. I found myself listening, encouraging and just wanting them to know that they were heard. I didn’t offer much but a smile, a hug and more importantly an ear. Simply providing a safe place for them to be for a moment or two. And it struck me how, when we are paying attention to what is going on for people around us, we can make a difference.
And as the Holidays approach, I hope that we all take a moment to connect with one another!
Wish you many blessings in the New Year!