There is this incredible, true story about a painting of the Virgin Mary in a home in Michigan. A woman bought the painting and hung it in her home. As soon as she hung it, there was water streaming down her wall. When she noticed it, she immediately tried to look to see where the water was coming from, since she thought it was a leak in the roof. After looking around the whole area, she could not find a source for the water other than the painting. It was coming from the Virgin Mary's eyes, as if she were crying. After that, Mary came to her in a vision and said "you all better start praying, because God is getting angry". The woman who owned the painting soon started sharing this story with the people she knew, and they all came to sit at the painting to marvel at this miracle and also pray. Now, she lets anyone who wants to see it come into her home, where her children and husband also live, so that they too can see this spectacle. A family member of mine has seen it with her own eyes! This story touches me in so many ways. First, the miracle of God's direct message to the world. Second, that He chose this average American woman and family as His outlet to the world.
There are so many times that my heart hurts for the disgusting, hurtful, selfish ways of this world and the people in it. Everyone has a personal agenda, and it seems that the moral compass of society no longer points even close to North. It seems that in the past ten years, the world has changed so much in terms of technology, materialism and ego that it is almost unrecognizable. Yes, a lot of technological advances are fun, and make life easier. But at what point do we put it aside and focus on our neighbor? God tells us that our purpose on earth is to serve others, yet all we do is focus on what others can do for us. We are all guilty of it to a certain extent, but I think it is time to put our foot down. I am tired of letting others knock me down, disrespect me and betray me in order to gain something for themselves. I want to live in a world where people care about how your day was, where people are more happy for things to happen to a friend than themselves, where people do things "just because", and not for recognition of their good deed. I am ready to take steps to put aside my own hopes, dreams and aspirations and help someone else achieve theirs. There are so many things I do wrong everyday, so many things I say wrong everyday. I don't treat people the way that they should, because when you are too nice, people take advantage of you. Maybe that is the reason for all of the selfishness, maybe that's the only way to survive in the world. I am willing to take a chance and find a way to prove otherwise. I am only one person, I have little to no impact on the world as a whole, but I do believe if one person at a time does more for others than themselves, it will be a domino effect that can change someone's perspective on the world.
As I touched on in my last post, I feel that my purpose is yet to be realized. I think about some of my natural gifts and talents, as we all were given unique gifts before we were even born. A gift of mine that I take for granted, and as a negative thing sometimes, is my gift of empathy. When someone is going through a tough time, or even has a minute problem, I take on their hurt as if it were my own. It is hard sometimes, especially in my profession, to deal with other people's emotions along with my own. I am challenging myself to start to live for others and not for myself. With this, maybe 2011 can be a stepping stone into a new way of life not just for me, but for the world at large.
Keep your faith. Know that God has a plan. Do something nice when no one notices. Smile when you walk past someone. Be nice to the checkout girl at the grocery store. Call a friend you lost touch with just to say "hi". Make today a new day, so that our tomorrow will be a better tomorrow.