“When we feel certain that the human soul is no longer at work in the world, it’s time to make sure that ours is visible to someone somewhere.” Those powerful words of Quaker author Parker Palmer just grabbed me this week. We may want to shrink from our surroundings when we despair that “the human soul is no longer at work in the world.” But that is the time when it is the most necessary to “make sure that ours is visible to someone somewhere.”
Jesus said the kingdom of God is “at hand”… present and available. And we are “agents” of the kingdom when we make sure our soul is visible to all those we encounter. Pretty awesome when you think of it: in those circumstances when we may feel the most powerless, we remain in a position to demonstrate kindness, compassion, understanding, love.
One of my favorites, that I return to periodically, comes from Clarissa Pinkola Estes:
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these — to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.
There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.”
Or, as I once read, “If the kingdom of God is within you, you should leave a little heaven wherever you go.” (Cornel West).
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: Consider where have you left “a little heaven” lately.
2 thoughts on “A Little Bit of Heaven”
Thank you so much for this encouraging and inspiring message. I wish I could solve all the problems in one sweep of my hand, but you remind us to just do what we can, in the place where we are, and to who is there in need of our help. This can only multiply the hope for others to do the same.
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So lovely…..again!!! Thank you💞
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