by Tom Brown –
What if that word included the ones who are the most difficult to love?
We’re less likely to judge another person when we remember that we’re always working with insufficient information.
Loving that difficult one results in more tolerance and peace. It helps us to keep our heart open rather than slammed shut. And maybe as we practice on that one, we will develop a corresponding understanding and compassion for ourselves. We will find that we do this on behalf of our awakening and on behalf of the healing needed all around us.
Mother Teresa put it this way: “I can only love one person at a time. I can only feed on person at a time. Just one… one… one. So I begin. I pick up one person. Maybe if I didn’t pick up that one person, I wouldn’t have picked up forty-two thousand. The whole work is only a drop in the ocean, but if I didn’t put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less. “
And so it is for us. Let’s begin in our family, in our neighborhood, with the one standing in front of us. Just begin. It’s that simple.
Mothers instinctively know this. The mother lioness, the mother wolf, the mother bird. They nurse and provide and sacrifice in incredible ways for their children. And then one day, they STOP. They don’t get food for the young lions anymore. They kick the young wolves out. They look at the young birds and they say, “Today is the day to fly, Kiddo! Like it or not, it’s out of the nest. “
Sometimes the most generous things we can say is, “Sorry, I can’t do it.” Sometimes the greatest thing we offer is our brokenness. How often we rush around trying to solve people’s problems without ever seeing them, without seeing the pain in their faces, the insecure eyes, the nervous hands, the hurt inside.
Daniel Berrigen wrote as part of an essay, “I would give almost anything for the look in a hungry man’s eyes when I give him the bread that I baked with my own hands.”