Monday, June 29, 2009

Love, first.

A 50/50 week. I made great improvement toward doing productive activities like sewing, writing, cleaning and reading to the kids, but that doesn't mean I watched any less TV. I blame Federer. How am I supposed to refrain from watching Wimbledon? The FIFA final didn't help matters either. Most of my progress only came in the latter half of the week, though.

At Mass yesterday we had a BVM sister come speak to us about her mission to people with Hansen's Disease (leprosy). She and her sisters run The Damien House in Ecuador. Our parish made a substantial gift from its funds, which, since we are a stewardship parish, came directly from the collection. Hearing her speak about the plight of these people brought me to tears, not because of their physical suffering, but because of the way they are outcasts from society. She said the name of the street upon which their hospital is built was called "La calle sin nombre." The Street Without a Name.

The first thing these sisters did when they arrived at this hospital didn't have anything to do with distributing medicine. Their first order of business was to clean: scrape moldy paint off the walls, rid the floor of rats and roaches, sanitize the kitchen so the food stayed fresh, change the linens, plant flowers...in other words, beautify the space so the patients would feel human again. I found such comfort in that, in the fact that they knew their first order of business was to create a loving atmosphere for the people they were serving. Of course, they also made sure everyone received treatment for the disease, advocated for better access to medincines, opened the doors to anyone who needed to receive care, and set up a weekly meeting where everyone could voice their opinions about the conditions in the hospital and their individual needs.

Yet it came down to love, first and foremost. Whenever I grow frustrated by the abysmally slow growth of my charity fund, God reminds me that it's not all about the benjamins. If love comes first, then a spirit of charity and forgiveness, of reaching out to everyone I meet, and of instilling a sense of compassion in my children are my first priorities. I'm still trying to save as much as I can, but family outings like going bowling or taking the kids to Cici's Pizza are acts of charity, even though they cost money, because they are building love.

Accountability Analysis
Week of June 21
Working on: Getting everyone ready by 9 am
Successes: Getting ready by 10 (hey, it's progress!), marriage-building, consistent with daily prayers
Challenges: yelling, laziness
Average daily HOS: 3

Week of June 28
Working on: Organizing house for Dad's visit

2 comments:

Jessica said...

Tienne, I'm sorry I didn't reply to your comment on my blog earlier. My brother got married this past week and it kind of sucked up all the time and energy in that week.

If you're still interested, it'd be fun to have you as a reader for the book when it's done. I'm still in the plotting/characterization phase right now, but once I get going, I enjoy having feedback - it helps!

qualcosa di bello said...

i'm catching up on blog reading since may & i am so glad you wrote this post. it is speaking to my heart in a number of ways...i'll write you later about that.

God bless, & special blessings on your vacation!