What Do You Say?


My friend said she couldn’t come to the phone. Her daughter was about to have a baby, could she call me back?

Then, she called to say her husband had died.

Life handed her the fullness of life, and death, one fistful after another, leaving her with a sleeping baby in an empty house. 

It has been quite a week, she said.  And suddenly, there was nothing more to say.

No words that could comfort or haven’t been said before.

But there is something to give.

Understanding the cycle of giving and receiving is at the heart of the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis.  

“ for it is in giving that we receive”

In life, even in death, life gives. We can give, too.

We can greet each morning with the simple intention of creating everyday joy. In every act, in every moment. We can be kind.

To a friend who is having a hard time, we can give time. We can listen. We can wait. We can make space for her to receive the fullness of our love. And in return, we receive a full and joyful life.

I think Henry James captures the essence of this best:

To Be Kind

Three Things in Human Life Are Important.
The First Is To Be Kind.
The Second Is To Be Kind.
And the Third Is To Be Kind

And there is nothing more you need to say.

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