This Most Amazing Day

Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.

There is something about a good story that changes us. Recently, two such stories, seemingly unrelated, came across my path. The first was occasioned by a group of religious Sisters, gathered to reflect on “The Consecrated Life”. That particular day, I had the good fortune of sitting in the back of the assembly, where I found myself meditating on all the good these women had done through the years, and all the good they were still intent upon doing. The speaker related a story that now has several renditions. It is about a good and holy woman who lived on top of a mountain, not far from a little scenic church nestled nearby. Other than that, the mountain was quite barren. Below, there was a neighborhood of children, who were quite fascinated by this woman. When the weather was good, they would look up and see her digging in the ground, as if she were looking for something. This went on and on.

They Wondered About Their Mountain

The years went by. The children grew up, and this gentle woman got older. One summer day, the adult children, now scattered in various directions, decided to have a reunion on the spot of their childhood. They wondered about their mountain and about their friend who lived there. When they approached the mountain, the view was breathtaking. It was no longer the barren spot of their childhood. Instead, the mountain was arrayed with many kinds of flowers, blooming in all their glory. As they came closer, they saw a sign. It read: 50,000 bulbs. Planted by one woman, one at a time. Began 1958.*
A story like this hardly needs a commentary, except to say that it is never too late to begin planting. Truly most worthwhile happenings in the world began in some neighborhood. Helen Keller was known to have said: “I am only one. I cannot do everything. Still, I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.” Many times, we are not asked to complete a work, but merely to begin it, to plant that little seed.

The second story involves a friend of mine. Let’s call her Brenda. One day, in a friendly sharing, she told me of an event that happened almost sixty years ago. Brenda was in training for what would end up being her life’s call. She recounted that she and the one in charge often did not see eye to eye. Friends, they were not. Eventually the time came for Brenda to move on to the next stage of her training. It seemed that both she and the one in charge would be giving a sigh of relief, being relieved of the stress of trying to relate. The time came for a good-bye. They paused for one last conversation. Brenda was totally surprised when she heard her superior say, “Brenda, I need to apologize to you. I feel bad that I have not been able to bring forth the good I believe is within you.” As Brenda shared this, tears came to her eyes, now sixty some years later. Brenda told me that at this moment, she made a resolution to make every effort to actualize whatever good this woman may have seen within her.

The God Of Springtime

I see this story as a seed planted in the springtime. It was also a seed planted within me, just hearing the story. What would happen in this world of ours if, instead of being bothered by others, we would make every effort to bring forth the good in the next person? What an amazing day this would be! Truly, the God of Springtime walks among us.

*This story is based on a true story. Like all good stories that live on, it has various renditions to fit the occasion. The original story is entitled: The Daffodil Principle, by Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards. It can be found on line at Project Happy Child.

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