I’m not kidding when I say there was a glow in the room. My neighbors had invited my daughter and me over to meet their new grandchild – their long awaited, breathlessly anticipated, deeply adored grandchild. They knew how much we had been looking forward to meeting this little one and it was going to work out perfectly. Their daughter and son-in-law would be there with the baby all afternoon. I could hardly contain my excitement.
She was everything we thought she would be and more. Beautiful, angelic, perfect. That is the absolute truth. But what impressed me even more than the preciousness of this child was the palpable love the whole family shared. At one point I looked around the room and everyone was smiling at this tiny sleeping baby. It was a deeply intimate and almost holy moment.
The rest of the day, I was warmed as I reflected on how they had widened their circle of love to include us. I could cry right now as I write this, just thinking of the power of the joy that filled that room.
Since then, I’ve been encouraged to notice other widening circles:
- My daughter’s young friend who recognizes the boost she was given in getting started in her career and commits to “paying it forward”. She is gladly wielding her knowledge and growing influence within her company to give others a hand in finding a position commensurate with their skills. In the process, she is availing her employer of some of the best talent available.
- The Facebook friend who asks for prayer for her brother who is critically injured in a work-related accident. Her feed blows up with people offering prayers, encouragement, and support of every kind. As she updates those in her growing circle, care and concern become a blessing that is both given and received.
- The writers’ forum that promotes a generosity mindset: Members freely sharing their content, technical/editorial skills, hard won lessons, and valued resources with each other. Giving away what has cost them comes from a belief that helping another succeed multiplies the impact of both their individual and collective efforts. Everyone is the richer.
I wonder if there aren’t many other circles we could widen if we started thinking in these terms. People we could choose to love; opportunities for intentional generosity; ways to share our influence; encouragement and comfort we could give.
What could we each make room for? Who could we invite in to our circles?
We are bombarded with stories of rampant cruelty and violence in our world, and we get inundated daily with reports of the disintegrating moral and ethical fiber of our society. It’s easy to become discouraged and want to throw our hands up in defeat. Perhaps refusing to dwell on the negative and seeking ways to positively widen our circles would begin to reverse such entropy. It’s worth a try.
What do you think? Are there circles you’ve seen widened to make a genuine difference in some lives? Please share in the comments below.
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Image attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/84617037@N00/46198862/
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