I have noticed how I hate others for the very things I hate most in myself. Often, I would see the evil or wrongdoings in others but remain blind to my own. I would sometimes allow the anger and bitterness to fester and nurture the hurt and pain they cause. In the process, the foul odor and the stench spreads into my words, my actions and in my being. And like a festering wound, rot begins and the negativity rankles within me.
I can choose to do otherwise. When I choose to see the goodness in others, I affirm and proclaim the goodness that is in them and in me. And what I affirm in myself, I see become reality in others and in my relationship with them. I reap what I sow. If I sow love, I harvest the fruits of love. If I plant goodness, I am rewarded with good fruits.
I do not even have to do anything heroic. I can do the smallest or the simplest of things. And when I do them with love and generosity, I am always amazed by the fruits they bring. It is my birthday today. And Jane was in our room early with her boxful of presents for me – her doodles and drawings, shaped into hearts and things, colored with a rainbow of love. Nothing fancy. But she gave it and dit it with everything she had and was capable of. It moves me how she can show her love with everything she’s got and capable of: unbidden, not prompted, all out of love for Lolo. She took time out of her precious play time to make those things for me. In the process, she has learned a lifelong lesson of giving of herself to a loved one, of nurturing and nursing a relationship, of sacrificing some things for the sake of another. She is getting ready for life.
Last week, I planted some sunflower seeds. They had hard shells. Yet in a few days of germination, tender shoots have broken through the hard shells, the beginnings of a new life. How life can grow out from such a hard and seemingly dead seed! The seed breaks and dies and then a new plant emerges that gives beauty through its flowers, food and nutrition through its seeds and shelter from the sun to small birds and bugs through its shade. Nothing fancy. Such a simple thing. Unheralded. Ordinary. Just being themselves. And yet plants of various sorts give food to men and many living creatures, shelter from the elements and even clothing for them to wear.
As I celebrate my 65th year, I thank God for the goodness and the beauty around me. I am specially grateful for the simple and ordinary things in my everyday life. it is out of these that true meaning, the real truth, comes from. I thank God for the abiding presence in my life.
Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?”