November 18. “The heart that gives…gathers.” (Hannah Moore)
Have you ever noticed that some people are just naturally attractive to others? I am not talking about superficial attraction, what some would call “hotness”. I am talking about people who attract others to themselves just by who they are. These people are always surrounded by others who want to be near them. They are the kind of person you can’t wait to see and talk to, because you know that you will be richer for the experience. My wife is one of those people.
People look forward to being around my wife. They want to talk about things with her, they want to take on fun experiences with her. She makes people feel very good about themselves. I see it every day in many different ways, but never so strikingly as when she is around children.
Children are amazing to me. Their instincts for who are the really good people are most always spot-on. Ask a four-year-old child who their favorite person is who isn’t mommy or daddy, and they will always give you the name of a person who is quite amazing, and they will do it with an unmistakable gleam in their eyes.
As adults we spend a lot of time and effort trying to learn how to read people. We may read books on the subject, take classes, discuss with our friends and so on. A whole industry has been built around trying to evaluate one another. Who will make a good mate? Who would be a good employee? Who should I vote for in an election? At some level or another, all of these decisions and more come down to an evaluation of whether the person is a good person or not. Children don’t struggle with this. They don’t have to check out a Golden Book on the subject. They don’t discuss it at recess. They aren’t journaling and soul searching, they just know.
How do children know who are the best people? It’s easy. They gravitate to the people who make them feel great about themselves. They seek the heart that gives, and very often, they find my wife.
I cannot begin to tell you how many afternoons and evenings have been spent with me sitting and talking to parents, while my wife is crawling on the floor playing with children. I have seen her play hide and seek while waiting for a shuttle bus to a wedding, with the children and her all dressed in their finest. I have seen her play every role in the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, over and over again until she was hoarse from the voices. I have seen her ridden by children who thought of her as a giant dog, a horse, or any other animal worthy of a ride.
Perhaps the most classic story involves a trip to a cider mill. We were meeting some friends there for a fun Sunday afternoon. They unloaded their older daughter out of the car, who was about 4 years old at the time, and were getting the toddler into the stroller. I was standing about 20 feet from the 4 year old, my wife was about 10 feet behind me. When the 4 year old hit the ground she came running, arms in the air, smile on her face. I put out my arms to catch her and sweep her up, until she made a circle around me and continued her dash to my wife. As I have said more than once since that incident, it showed me who was the boss among the two of us.
My wife has a heart that gives. She tirelessly gives of herself for the betterment of others. It isn’t only small children who reap the bounty of her giving heart. Her own children, who are adults, seek her out for advice or just to vent their steam. Co-workers, friends and relatives all call and visit with her because they want to be around her positive spirit.
My wife knows no other way to be, than to be a person who gives of herself, 100%, every day. To me, she is the embodiment of this quote. Her heart gives, and it gathers a tremendous amount of love.
Today my reflection is on my wife. I am eternally grateful to be a part of her life, and to be so close to the radiant love she has for all.