The seasons are upon us, gracious as usual. Spirits are lifted, hearts are filled with memories as nostalgia plucks away at our heart strings. There is something about a home filled with smells of baked breads,desserts, glazed hams,turkey, spirits (the drinking kind) with friends & families along with the laughter(bickering..)and conversation that could never be replaced. Not a single moment.
Many families this year having gone through hardships beyond their very efforts and imagination, may have days of Thanksgiving and Christmas differently from their last or year before when the entire family was together and finances were plentiful. A segmental view of these moments in our lives and the possibilities of simple offerings and empathy, are rich in that they bind us this year in time for the holidays and then some: A smile offered to a perfect stranger or in situations we may not usually care to partake, can change a life for days. These gifts also have the uncanny ability to multiply, without spending a cent. You may find a tear where you would have least expected it, but God placed you there at that moment, possibly to bridge one's devestation or broken heart with a generous sense of comfort and understanding. A spared moment of heart is infinite in its ability.
When people have trouble seeing for themselves, hope ,it is as simple a heart gift one could encounter during the holidays than could ever be asked. The mystery in gesture alone, given selflessly creates miraculous events - astounding in their abilities to re-create through another. ie. Christmas cards mailed to retirement homes filled with little gestures inside can be a most delightful way to spend the days before Christmas. You may start finding your own evenings holding certain gifts of spirit waiting for you in quieter moments and what they have to reveal. Life may look differently after awhile -a tad more focussed in what may be happening between, friends, family and purposes of life in general. In some ways we end up defusing our own bombs, moving to friendlier waters. Gifts of light and hope are so accessable and intensify through participation.
Not too long ago A man came to me who had lost his home, his wife, his son. Only to do the best he could in moving forward, and accepting this loss. He had found comfort in a very nice, quiet country home he could afford. He mended his heart there for awhile. During this healing he found sensations lost well before this journey. He remembered just how small his problems really were. He focussed on the night skies, sunrises and sunsets. All the beauties he had missed in misery. As a reward for these findings, he found yet another: A note on his desk asking him to room 213. There they would tell him he was no longer needed at his position.
He had came to me for words, but I had none at that time. He told me he felt God was punishing him. "They wouldn't even let me take my pictures of my son & daughter and the woman I love. I am too old and can't go through this again." Still I had no words. I thought maybe if I quieted myself, something would come...still nothing.
The next day, (Oh, yes!). As I looked out my front window, finally, after what I would have guessed to have been 2 months, I could see them. In a tiny nest above the porch light 4 little heads. As I remember, every morning I would watch each piece of straw, paper, mud and feather woven miraculously into a fine home for two sparrows who would go on to make a family very late in the season, which I thought was unusual. I knew this family well. They had built a nest in our barn earlier. They were well protected from the elements high up in the rafters. However, sadly each of their little ones died. They had no place to fly. They were too protected. The walls of the barn confined them.
My daughter had been gone for a week. I believe it was Labor Day morning when I made certain I was awake for her. She heard the sparrows and said, "Wow mom, they grew so fast in such a short period of time. Will you take a picture of them?"
HMMMmmmmmm, I knew I had to share this with the man I love. Helpless as he felt,I pulled him out of bed and asked him to look at the sparrows. He said to me (I was expecting more of course), "It's amazing! It's Labor Day and everyone is out of work! Even they have the day off! And I'm looking at sparrows? Grumble-grumble." Well, to say the least, he went back to bed. I made him breakfast and brought his coffee. I said, "You know how much I love our animals. I had thought those sparrows were a gift for me, but they had come for you." He asked what I meant (with the sheets pulled halfway across his head, as for protection). I said, "It's not God's" intention to punish you. You are growing and learning and he is bringing you closer to Him. I have seen those sparrows since their arrival. Today IS Labor Day. But you know what? It wasn't Until after YOU had seen them, I realized they could fly all along. I took a picture of them this morning after you went back to bed. You won't see them again. They're gone." He asked how I knew. I said, "I just do. They stayed just long enough for us to understand."
"Understand whaAAaaattt..hmmph?? "
"You only outgrew your surroundings. You left YOUR nest, with a little help. Most people appreciate, very little, change and resist until no options are available to them. Gently, you were shown to "go" in spirit and renew a life. Had you stayed where you were, like our sparrows in the barn you would have been very uncomfortable to say the least. But, the sparrows that did take off Labor Day are going to build more than just that nest on the porch (which is still there by the way and will remain that, "a nest" a place you stay until your are ready). You told me you have everything you've always wanted, but...........So, you do! You hated your job, anyway."
"If you were all knowing and all loving what would you have provided?"
His answer: "Everything I've always wanted, but with conditions (change)...."
This is a simple personal holiday gift for any whom it may touch. Blessings & heart-love. Happy Thanksgiving ^O^
E. K. Kerrick