Pt. 3 The light that is shining within...

To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude; ‘You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.’
— From Brokenness to Community by Jean Vanier

The other morning, I went for a walk along the Arkansas River. It was an exhilarating walk. I saw one of the eagles that usually visits SoCe in late December/early January.

On the way home, I was thinking about what I needed to do the rest of the day. As I approached Waco Ave, I noticed that one of my neighbors had her front door open - just the storm door was closed. I wondered if I should stop and invite her to our Sunday evening Cookies & Carols party. I didn't really want to - if the front door is open, that means her giant, intimidating dog can just run out through the dog door and greet me. Not being a person who enjoys dogs, the thought of an encounter with that dog is uncomfortable and requires courage. But then, in my head, I heard the encouraging words "I trust you. You can trust yourself." I knew that this meant I should trust my initial inclination to stop and invite my neighbor to the party. I approached the door. On cue, the menacing canine ran out… so I petted him and rubbed his back for at least half a minute until his owner appeared. She and I ended up having a long conversation about some of the struggles she is going through and some tough decisions she is having to make. We talked about a recent funeral she had attended - the paradox of the grief and yet the joy of family coming together. I am thankful for that conversation and that I trusted myself.