Kindness - like waves on the surface of water after the effect of something other than itself.
A sweet lady named Faye in our local guild wanted to ask me a question at the meeting Saturday. I was hesitant but yet happy to see if I could be of help, thinking that she wanted advice on fabric choices or design layout being that is usually what we all chat about during these meetings. Instead she told me of the quilt she was making for a woman that is having medical complications, how she is always cold and Faye wants to send her this quilt out of kindness.
She went on to tell me how her sewing machine was giving her problems and did I know about free-motion quilting on a her model machine. I wanted to have an answer, but did not know the first thing about her machine. The meeting began and we sat quiet listening to the presentation. All the while I kept thinking "how can I help her?".
|Faye's quilt on the frame|
The thought of her selfless act, of the work she had put into the quilt top and how all she wanted to do was to make someone feel some comfort and love during a hard time in life. When the presentation was over, without even thinking I leaned over to her and said "Give me the quilt, I can quilt it tomorrow and that way it will be finished and you can send it to her".
|Faye's beautiful quilt for her friend|
Well, Sunday morning I woke very early (I love to sleep in just ask my husband) eager to start. I put the quilt on the frame and set about quilting. There were a few set backs, but they didn't seem to get me down as this was a joy to do. With every moment I spent quilting I felt the love and compassion that had been put into this quilt top. When I finished the last few stitches, I realized just how much one small kind deed can enrich so many lives. You see what she did by piecing this quilt - this little thing, this thoughtful gesture, it's selfless.
Once the quilt was removed from the frame and folded ready to go back, I felt a sadness come over me. I am a selfish person, I thought. Why do I not do more for others. The whole time I was quilting I was happy, a different type for happy. I want that back!
Reaching out with kindness is a new type of growth that I had been missing out on. Now don't get me wrong, I am not selling off everything and getting fanatical about it. But just one little act of kindness even simple ones equal growth whether you want to call it spiritual or personal.
So how does one cultivate a spirit of charity? How do we become more grateful, loving, compassionate, forgiving? As humans we are born - I believe with charitable hearts as children. As we grow and life fills us with so many emotions, our thoughts are usually towards ourselves and close family. I am a kind person, but I know I haven't been a very charitable person outside of my small circle of family and friends. I see now how much I have been missing.
I have met so many wonderful people in the quilting world and learned so much from them, but this was a lesson that was well past due!
To grow and become what ever it is I am to be ~ I need to cultivate a spirit of charity within me.
Are you a charitable soul, and how do you cultivate that in yourself?