Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Last year when she started this, I tried to think of how to thank her, and started by baking her a few pies. She loves my pies, but she doesn't really appreciate having the calories. So, I started making her extras of whatever I was cooking - soups, stews, etc. I realized later she didn't want those either.
Some things are not a "transaction." This is not a transaction. She doesn't provide me a service for which I pay her. She is doing something for me out of the goodness of her heart. My job is to say "Thank You." I think my job is also to realize that the world is full of anonymous good people, doing anonymously good things for other good people.
On the other hand, at Sunday Mass this week, I seriously considered leaving my current parish. My "other" neighbor, the deacon, gave the homily. The general topic of which was living a Christian life. As I heard him speak, I could only see all my beloved plants in the back yard killed at his hand. I could not get past that. I need to have a long chat with that man. I am sure he has no idea how profoundly he has impacted me. I am equally sure he has never given me a thought, which I find equally disturbing. We are not supposed to be oblivious to those around us - are we?
I got a letter this week from a woman I "sponsor" in the Philippines. It is a relatively small amount of money that is automatically withdrawn from my checking account each month. But from her letter, I can tell that this amount of money each month, maybe equal to one dinner in a restaurant here, has changed her life. She is thanking me for buying her a "Sunday" dress and new shoes. For rice and milk. For a health check up, and vitamins. A plastic mat to sleep on and a comforter. Her letters always make me cry. Would I want her to try to repay me somehow? That is just ludicrous!
Some things just aren't transactions. They don't add up. There's no score. They just make this world feel like it isn't hopeless.