Article by Mary Sullivan, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

When I was involved withProject Compassion, an end-of-life care nonprofit, I learned the healing power of sharing our stories.

 

Early in its inception, Project Compassion sponsored a “Talking Circle,” structured after the Native American tradition.  A small group met once a week focusing on our personal experiences with serious illness, death, and grief.

 

Many of the participants had never met before.Bound by our common vulnerability, sacred trust soon developed.  Listening to the stories of others, I was able to move beyond my private pain, and my heart broke open to “the pain” present in all of our lives.

 

Watching others bravely face their sadness, I was encouraged to deal with my own grief over the death of my dear friend, Rhonda.  When one woman explained how losing her husband had reminded her of the preciousness of her own life, I was inspired to begin to “live again.” Read More »

Posted on 7 July, 2010 in Balance, Helping Others
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Article by Mary Be a Sullivan, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Lush, green, serene … Camp McDowell serves its purpose well as a soul-restoration location.

 

There’s only one drawback.  If you have mobility issues, walking from the cabins, to the meeting room or the dining hall can take a lot of energy.

 

These past few days I have been immersed in the beauty of “Camp” as a facilitator for “Heartsong,” an annual retreat for people with HIV/AIDS.  The retreat organizers were prepared, and borrowed church vans to shuttle folks from one location to another as needed.

 

One of the participants, I call him “George,” needed a walker and routinely would be the last to arrive at each activity.  George is a young man … too young for a walker.  And sometimes he didn’t want to take the van. Read More »

Posted on 30 April, 2010 in Gratitude, Helping Others, Inspirational Stories
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

In my journey to live more simply is a desire to be radically generous to the poor or to those in need.  I don’t believe we can live a simplified life of faith without this foundation …

 

But man do I struggle with this.

 

So how do we exercise radical generosity with our resources, money, and everything we own materially?

 

One barrier that gets in the way for me is I think that … when I make a little more money, or when I get this month’s bills paid off … then I can be more generous to the poor.

 

Living with radical generosity seems difficult or impossible because we think of giving out of our abundance.  But this abundance never seems to be there. Read More »

Posted on 8 April, 2010 in Helping Others, Simplify
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

We are a busy people rushing through life.  And yet recently, a few people chose a different pace.

 

There was a woman in her thirties who was walking early one cold, wintry morning. You could see her breath in the air as she stopped at the corner a couple of blocks from her work waiting for the light to change.  Cars rushed by in the busy downtown city.

 

She waited until the light was red and the crosswalk signal was white, and then something happened. No one was sure if she stepped awkwardly off the curb, or if she became dizzy and just fell.

 

Regardless, the result was hard to watch.

 

She hit the pavement face first and lay motionless for a moment.  Cars hit their brakes.  A nurse was walking out of a nearby parking deck and saw the woman fall and came running to her aid.  ”Are you ok, ma’am, are you ok?!” she yelled. Read More »

Posted on 21 March, 2010 in Helping Others, Inspirational Stories, Simplify
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Do you ever envy other people’s talents?

 

Dr. Michael Saag is a friend and a world-class HIV researcher and physician.  But it’s his ability to quote entire dialogues from movies he has seen that makes me laugh hysterically.  Especially comedies…

 

He can have an entire room rolling on the floor by quoting a scene word for word.  I just shake my head in disbelief at his photographic memory.  Sometimes, I can’t even remember a movie’s title I watched last night!  Woe is me.

 

What talents do you envy in others?  Maybe it is someone who can sing, or play an instrument, or some other gift you wish you had?

 

The more we envy the talents of others, the more likely we will miss and devalue our own.  Envy is a marvelous distraction from self-discovery.

 

I Corinthians 12: 12-26 says that … all persons who claim to be a child of God are all connected to one another like the human body, and all parts of the body are equally important.  The hand doesn’t say to the foot we don’t need you, or the ears have no right to envy what the eyes can do … And so it is with our talents and gifts.

 

So how do I know what my gifts are?  How do I identify my gifts so that I can use them to further the work of the Creator?

 

For me, a starting place in discovering my own gifts is the answer to this question:  “What do I love to do in helping others?” Read More »

Posted on 26 January, 2010 in Helping Others, Motivation, Spirituality
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