Every penance paid

Copy of a painting on the ceiling of the Scuola Grande dei Carmini, Venice

G.B. Tiepolo…1749

“And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13

Life holds exquisite moments of sweetness. It may be hard to recognize, but it is everywhere we look. The tender mercies that flood from the human heart are more powerful than the vast swirling hurricane of malignant self-interest in which we swim.

It was Thanksgiving…(the best holiday!)

You can tell a lot about someone from their laughter, particularly, the depth of it. Some who have shallow laughs seem to laugh mostly at the expense of others or to ingratiate. Those with laughs that shake the soul with genuineness are broadcast beacons of humanity.

I loaded her groceries in the trunk of my car as she excitedly told me of her dinner plans, complete with recipes and reviews, tangents, anecdotes and asides, all delivered within the warm backbeat of her mirth. It was the type of laugh that draws you in to the private recesses of their heart and makes you feel at home. As we pulled up to her address, she was reaching the climax of her culinary presentation and I grabbed a notebook to write down her recipe for “Ambrosia” (said with a heavenly roll of the eyes that made you think you were about to receive the keys of St. Peter).

Then I noticed that three tough young men and a young woman were gathering around her door, and growing concerned for her in what could only be described as a disadvantaged neighborhood, I told her I would help her inside with the groceries. She intuited my concern, and immediately said: “No, Honey, these are mine!” She leaned across the back of the front seat and told me in a whisper that they had no homes…that she fed them and “kept them loved” and away from the trash “that sells that crap they shoot…”

She kept the quartet shifting from foot to foot while she moved effortlessly from the problems of youth…and back to the cooking, which she believed “gave them a taste of the Lord.” Her recipe for “Ambrosia” (another dramatic roll of the eyes heavenward) apparently involved a concoction of jello, fruit, sour cream, and a great concern for everyone’s happiness. The four beside the cab waited patiently and gushed with eagerness to take her groceries for her, and to help her out of the car, which only made her laugh all the more.

A bright resounding laugh from the deepest part of her heart.



~ by theoxherd on October 7, 2012.

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