Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
– Leo Buscaglia
A few weeks ago I was twisting a bag of fabric scraps into long chains. Phoebe, one of my 11 year old granddaughters came in and said, “Oh, you are making rope! We learned to do that on a field trip in 4th grade. Can I try?” Lucky me – for awhile we sat and chatted twisting the fabric of that day into a strong rope.
Since then I have twisted what seems miles of scraps into long thin colorful “rope.” This morning picking out long scraps and twisting them together became a contemplative prayer practice similar to praying with beads.
As I prayed I became aware of how many people I’ve spent time with and how many stories I’ve been privileged to hear since I posted in early October.
Each of these stories includes some of the teller’s pretty raggedy times; times when we pull the scraps of our lives together hoping the places where we join the old with the new can hold. This morning I thought about those times in my own life as I added a few stitches to a joint that wasn’t going to hold without support.
Two friends and I are planning a 4 week 2-hour study for StillpointatBeckside.com, using Fr. Thomas Keating’s work about going deeper into centering prayer. We talked about how our relationship has grown by telling stories during our planning meetings. We’re thinking about asking participants to break into groups of two or three because we know as Fr. Keating says, “When we go deeper into silence stuff comes up.” When stuff comes up, those scraps of our life we haven’t quite known what to do with, it’s helpful to have someone nearby listening with her heart, twisting those pieces into a strong raggedy rope.