Thursday, April 19, 2012

Only a bar of soap!

Someone I love with every fiber of my heart and soul recently told me that I didn't love her. I asked her why she said that, and she replied that it was because I didn't give her money. Woe! I explained to her that money is not love, and love surely is not money. This little lady is only eleven years old, so I feel obliged to consider her age.

Isn't it amazing how our values change over the years? I'm in my 70s, and when I was young love meant caring enough to be there for the one you loved. Never would I have equated love being proved by handing over money. Now that I'm retired and that pay check is no longer there, my love takes the form of support and encouragement. In the long run, these are much more important. Rich people cannot pour balm on a crushed spirit unless they have a loving spirit. Another aspect of this, as those who lived through WWII know, we can have all the money in the world, but if the supply does not meet the demand, all the dollars in the world will not suffice. We can ration clothes and food, but God forbid that we should ration our love! This is one area where we pray that supply meets the demand!

When I was fifteen years old my mother and stepfather were finally getting divorced (my mother, in one of her drunken rages, held a shotgun on my stepfather and he had a heart attack on the spot--I witnessed it all!). During the Christmas holidays that year I stayed at a convent with nuns who I dearly loved. These nuns had become my friends through the years I attended school there. Of all the Christmases in my life, this is the one I most cherish. These precious ladies made it so special! Christmas day they took me to a room and there on a table were numerous gifts, and I started opening them, stunned that they cared that much. But it was my little friend who brought back the memory. These gifts had no monetary value. I recall one of them being a bar of soap, gifts like that. But oh! what they represented! Those dear ladies could not possibly understand what their kindness meant.

There was one gift in particular that, to this day, meant more to me than any gift I've ever received. It was from Mother Claudia who picked up many pieces of my heart through those wonderful years with these ladies. It was a night light. She knew how much I loved to read. I cherished this light until it finally fell apart. It was symbolic to me of God's light that shines for us through His representatives such as these saintly ladies.

So I say to my young friend, don't mistake money for love. Love comes in many packages. It is most manifested in being there for you, and praying for the best in your life. Please remember that!

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