In this post: 3 stories of kindness, superficial expressions of love and porcupines
“Love is expressed in many recognizable ways: a smile, a wave, a kind comment, a compliment. Other expressions may be more subtle, such as showing interest in another’s activities, teaching a principle with kindness and patience, visiting one who is ill or homebound. These words and actions and many others can communicate love.”
A friend once offered me a bowl of cantaloupe when I visited her house. I was so grateful that she was willing to share with me that day not just cantaloupe but friendship.
Another time, a friend called and said let’s go to lunch for your birthday. I was blessed to spend an hour in her company. She and I talked about all the joys and sorrows of motherhood and laughed. It was so nice to know that I’m not the only one in the trenches.
Once I listened as a friend told of her upcoming move and how she would have to give away a small rockable baby bed known as a bassinet. I knew of a pregnant woman who needed all the things for a baby. I recounted her story and soon I was coordinating the transfer of this baby bed to it’s new home. It is a privilege to serve others.
Each of these stories is a small moment of loving kindness. I have been lucky to know good people all through my life. I have been touched by the small and simple ways that they have communicated their love to me.
I have also often felt isolated. I have kept my loneliness to myself. I have found few safe harbors for the real me. Few have shown interest in my world. Few have listened.
It is easy to smile and wave. Lots of people offer this kind of love.
It is a little harder to be kind because kindness requires knowledge of the situation and a thoughtful response.
It is harder still to listen and pass no judgement. Or to forgive when your patience has been stretched to the limit.
Then there is communicating love to a porcupine (someone who rebuffs your attempts).
I have been both kind and porcupine.
When loving kindness is offered it should be acknowledged and appreciated. It was wrong of me to be a porcupine. And in dealing with porcupines, never give up. Love never fails.