With all my heart

Published 10:51 am Wednesday, May 1, 2019

This weekend is our town’s annual Heart of Virginia Festival. I look forward to seeing people from all-around Farmville, across our region and guests to our area. I know so many of you will be out as the welcoming face of businesses, civic groups and service organizations, faith-communities and more. In this town we each wear many hats.

I am reminded of an old adage that each fresh face is the opportunity for a new friend. Even in a one-time encounter, we offer someone else a gift of time and of ourselves. Should we never meet them again, what will we have invested in them, and in our wider community for the exchange? With all my heart, I pray that all I do and say will be a blessing to others.

In our world, tensions keep making the front page: in political crossfire, in places of worship. It can feel like a tidal-wave towering over us. Destructive. Inescapable. Sweeping us away and drowning the world. Every day, I see the news and am saddened and angered by the way people can treat each other. I read of worshippers of various faiths attacked at such a rate that I almost lose track. I hear the rhetoric of political leaders whose nastiness seems to know no limits. I get overwhelmed and feel powerless.

But what I do each day matters. Each little moment is vital. I am reminded by coaches I know that success comes in the accumulation of little things done well. Sainted Mother Teresa of Calcutta was quoted as saying, “We can do no great thing, only small things with great love.”

In the Christian faith tradition, Jesus repeatedly demonstrated the importance of such momentary exchanges. A woman at a well. A man whose son was ill. Tenderly washing his disciples’ feet. Welcoming children into the center of his circle.

Jesus taught his disciples to consider the farmer scattering seed. He noted that not all the seed would grow or grow equally. But he observed that the farmer still scatters the seed. The harvest of those seeds that do find a receptive spot and flourish will make it all worth it.

The people we meet may carry the weight of the world. From the heart of who we are, let us greet them with a smile and offer something better.

Rev. Michael Kendall can be reached at kendallmp@aol.com.