Amidst the peculiarity of the past few months, a woman knocked on our front door and asked D for a handout. He obliged. I am all in on such things.
Many years ago, I adopted the policy that if asked for money face to face, I will gladly give it. This works along side that verse in Hebrews where we are instructed not to forget to entertain strangers as they might be angels.
But then my point has nothing to do with charity per se. The idea that we all have a deep seated need to feel welcomed came to me as a mission in childhood. We moved around a bit, and my sensitive mother waited for others to gather her in. My tiny antennas went up to the vulnerability of our need for someone to move our way first.
And you in the housecoat with a jar of bran muffin mix know who you are.
Ultimately I owned and operated a county-wide business called The Columbia Welcome Service. It suited young motherhood and my purpose born of having a sad mother. I learned many things by schlepping a bag of local business freebies including a 5 pound bag of sugar and a yardstick hither and yon.
While I made hundreds of appointments on a phone attached to the wall to visit newcomers’ homes, no one ever turned me or my welcome bag down. All were desperate for a community embrace.
Coincidentally at that time, General Motors located a plant in our area so I heard countless heartsick dramas of leaving a Michigan heritage where people knew your name.
All of us want to be seen and we want to be loved for who we are. And in the end, who doesn’t want to add love to the Whole?
Still people have full lives, and really how important can the particular of being greeted really be? If you’ve ever done business with an entity that could care less about your presence, I believe you understand the depth of life-quality that occurs by such a simple outreach.
Years ago elderly Jehovah’s Witness types knocked on the same aforementioned front door. I invited them in to sit on my grandmother’s couch and have a Coke. She would have approved.
Since I’m an eternal seeker, I was curious to hear what they had to say about how their motors run. I listened completely with their enthusiasm rolling over me in waves of empathy for the complicated mix of stuff we must sort and make sense of during our assignments at the Earth School.
They left me some reading material.
A few weeks later, I looked them up in the phone book to discover that they lived in an adjoining neighborhood. Collecting my favorite reading materials of comfort and the best of family recipes (oatmeal cookies), I knocked on their front door. No answer. I persisted.
Finally a crack appeared and they stood behind the screen. I offered to share the part of myself that they offered to me. Humorless, they nodded, accepted my gifts and shut the door as I stood there.
I’ve often thought about the predicament that this never-ending story places at the feet of humanity.
So – Yo!