Tuesday, June 17, 2008

abide these three

Now abide these three, faith, hope and love;
but the greatest of these is love.
I know it's a trite old story that has made the rounds, but it always gives me a charge of energy when I think of the moral. A boy was walking along the beach throwing a starfish back into the ocean. They covered the sand, and a man noticed what the boy was doing. He told him, "This beach stretches on for miles. How can it possibly make a difference throwing back the starfish when there must be thousands of them?" The boy replied, "It makes a difference to this one".
Ok, at the risk of truly being my jaded self, there is a part of me that thinks about a "Hancock" treatment to this- the boy hits a swimmer when he throws the starfish back. Well, we can't all be faultless superheros. But what we do does make a difference. Only humans have the capacity to make a reasoned decision to do something kind, to start cause and effect in a life, simply by making up our minds to do so. That is powerful stuff. We don't have control of the outcomes necessarily, but but we do have control of our actions and reactions.
I only have to think for a few minutes to come up with a list of people I know personally who have affected my life this way, and whose lives I have affected. Many more I don't know. Certainly there is no measure to what one action causes in a life, the continued ripple effect, but even in this harsh world we call home, isn't it true that one heartache brings about so many means of healing? I suppose the one living person in the world I could point back to and say she caused this ripple effect in my life, is my mother. She wasn't around for long-I was 15 when she died, but I look at myself today and realize so much of what she did shaped me and has caused me in turn to do the same for others. She was a great communicator and encourager. She put her words into action. Our home was warm, safe and secure because she made it so. She rarely ever complained even when there was good reason to. My mind is filled with memories of coming home from school to cookies, special surprises, beautiful table decorations and fun things at special events. We didn't have much money, but somehow she was the magician that made a few dollars turn into a dress, a feast, an art lesson, a new toy. She served the community, and with 5 children to care for, that was no small feat. She was brave in the face of terminal illness, a handicapped child, more challenges than I could ever imagine facing in her short life.
So all you beachcombers of life out there, do not give up! It makes a difference to this one.


Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

This is beautiful....

Fanks for you words and support on twaddle....

Quit was NEVER a word I knew until recently and that was only for a week til me head got sorted out lol...


9:08 AM  
Blogger joannie said...

Thank you so much and you're welcome. I just went to print this off for my sister who is suffering from mom fatigue (her daughter is recovering from a prescription pill addiction) and somehow it's printing ALL of my blogs-there's paper everywhere!! You are truly an amazing person-that rare combination of tough but not hard, great strength and a fantastic sense of humor and situation in difficulty. I'm so glad you're better and I'm serious-you could have a column in any American women's magazine. You tell a story like no one I've ever read.

11:59 AM  

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