This year I am acutely aware of the freedom and expansion that Heartworks brings to my everyday life. The opportunity I am offered every day to be with women who desire a deeper life experience, the opportunity to give to people who are struggling in memory of my own struggles, and in honor of those unseen, yet coming, brings me to my knees.
Because of the donations Heartworks receives, we were able to give away 19 wreaths filled with the prayers of over 70 Heartworkers to families dealing with loss and illness this Christmas. We were able to buy and wrap gifts for moms taking care of their sick children, we were able to deliver a Christmas tree, gifts and Christmas Eve dinner for a mom who is on her ass with chemo treatment and provide Christmas dinner for another mom too sick to cook. We gave gifts to four other families in hopes to take some stress off of them this month. We gave checks to three boys in their 20’s, enduring treatment for cancer so that they can shop online and feel good about gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. One of these boys wrote us to let us know he used part of the money we gave him to buy gifts for the kids undergoing treatment at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital.
The message that this gesture sends to me is that even in the midst of chemotherapy, a loved heart has love to give and by offering this love to other human beings who are suffering, helps us all to heal. This gesture helped him, the children he is giving to, and to each of us who were sitting around the table at Heartworks reading his note. When we offer love during our own struggles it helps us to feel less alone, less targeted by the distress. To give during illness, divorce, depression, grief, change, financial struggles, mental illness, loneliness, regret, addiction, physical pain and wounds that pull families apart, helps us to glimpse the mystery that is bigger than ourselves. Heartworks allows us all to do this.
I am always reminded this week of Christmas 2001 when my entire family woke up at my sister’s house on a seemingly impossible Christmas morning to find that the wave of love that had carried us through the month of December also carried us through the day. This is what we hope to offer others this year…a sense of love during a seemingly impossible time of year for so many people.
Thank you to all of you who participate in the receiving and the giving this month.
I pray that our hearts feel settled amidst the unsettledness of life.
I pray for our service men and women and their families this week.
I pray for those living in acute suffering, that moments of peace find them.
I pray for all of those who have no one to pray for them.
I pray for anyone who is hungry and cold that someone reaches out to them.
I pray that those of us living with health and full dinner tables this year feel a sense of gratitude so deep that it quiets the chattering thoughts of our mind.
I pray in gratitude for the ability and opportunity to use the time I am given to focus on meaningful things so that my mind is not taken over by static.