“Listen! Clam up your mouth and be silent like an oyster shell, for that tongue of yours is the enemy of the soul, my friend. When the lips are silent, the heart has a hundred tongues.” – Rumi
Another early morning training run started at 5:45 am. One mile with the girls; nine miles by myself; the last three plus miles with friends at Como Lake. Another long run over, check it off the list, one step closer to the Twin Cities Marathon in October.
The last mile, a woman joined us that my friends had met last week. She was behind them and as my running friends do so well, they welcomed and invited her to be a part of the group – inclusivity and hospitality in action.
As Terry and I went to get coffee, Angie came in to share our new friend’s “story” that she shared with Lynn and Angie. We all have one. But when we are blessed to ask and hear others “stories,” our minor discomforts and irritations are rapidly put into perspective, put in their place.
Our new friend shared that her son was shot and killed. She started running to help herself heal. I thought about this all day long. Tonight, Angie sent an email with a link to the full story online.
The detailed story – two years ago, her son, a 19 year old young man who was studying to become a computer engineer innocently met a man to buy a cell phone. In the “transaction,” he was shot and killed by the slug. This young man had held two jobs to help support his family as he excitedly started college to make something of his life. His family was from Burma and came to the United States to leave a refugee camp, only to find their dream become a nightmare. Devastating.
Each day, we know in depth and detail what we are going through- our irritations, frustrations, challenges. But we are called to move outside of ourselves and apply that same depth to others, to the world. We must be open to others, to listen, to be present, to be a gift. We know not what others are going through. Find out.
Cast your eyes, ears and light to others and search for the depth and width that life takes each one of us through at varying levels. We are not alone. Let others know that loud and clear by quietly listening.
It’s not all about us. It’s really about how we help each other muster the strength to make our way through the most difficult as well as celebratory moments of our lives. We need to ignite our limitless capacity for compassion, empathy and companionship. Be there and listen. You are needed in this world so much more than you know.
Listen, be present, welcome the world in with your heart.