Within Me Without Me

Friday, December 22, 2006

humbled by kindness

there are just some people in this world who overwhelm me with pure and sincere kindness and goodness.

one of them is my friend and coworker lisa. i wrote about her hardships in this post. she was so appreciative of the meager gift i could give her, and i wonder every day how she holds it all together.

the other day, we walked to the bank together on our lunch break. we were talking about her situation, about how her husband's medical leave checks had run out, and they were down to just her income. she was telling me about the money they recieved from a fundraiser we had done at the office that netted about the total of one of his paychecks. she was so happy. as we were about the leave the bank, she saw a jar with a picture of a sherrif's deputy, and a story about his illness, and a request for donations for his family. lisa, inspite of her own need, pulled out $3 and put it in the jar, remarking how difficult it must be for his family. i had to turn my head so she wouldn't see me tear up, and wouldn't see how ashamed i was that the only cash i had was a twenty that i wouldn't put in the jar.

and now today, she called me to her office, saying she had a gift for me for christmas. i didn't do office people gifts this year, having spent about $40 on prizes for the party... and i just expected her to have brought a little bag of goodies or something. she presented me with this big box. my heart was in my throat. i opened up a vaporizer (she had recalled a conversation we had a month or so ago when my kiddos were sick with colds, and she had asked if i had a vaporizer, which i didn't.) and a cookbook (she knows i love to cook). she told me merry christmas, and thank you again for the homemade meals i had given her. and there i stood with nothing to give this wonderful woman who thinks only of others even when she could be (justifiably) withdrawn into self-pity. all i could do was give her a teary hug and promise to bring her something homemade from my new cookbook! she is truly amazing.

i remember a homily given by one of our priests years back regarding giving out of need, not surplus. while giving from one's surplus is admirable, giving away the very resources that you need is HOLY.

i continue to pray for her and her family, and to pray that God grants me a generous heart, so that i will have the courage give out of my need, in this Christmas season, and beyond. i pray the same for you as well.


  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger ChupieandJ'smama said…

    That is such a sweet story! Your co-worker sounds like a wonderful, caring person. We should all strive to be that giving. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!


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