I live in a neighborhood with a lot of senior citizens. Tonight, Helen was watering her flowerbed by the house. I stopped to ask her how things were going.

She’s got a painter coming to do the whole interior! And she’s been busy getting her personal things packed up and out to the garage. But she needs more boxes.

Well, I’m an expert on boxes! I told her that the discount printer over on the Avenue has great boxes from reams of paper. Wonderful covers and even hand holds cut out on the ends.

Then try the grocery stores and call ahead for those produce boxes from bananas. They have hand holds on the side and you can get a lot of stuff in them. As I went down the list, I could see Helen’s eyes glaze over!

I paused for a quick memory upgrade and realized she doesn’t have a car and she doesn’t drive. She’d have to write all this down and wait for one of her children in the area to take her to these places, or to go and get these boxes for her.

So I did what any everyday mystic would do – I walked my talk!

“Helen,” I asked, “How many boxes could you use right now?”

“Oh about six,” she replied.

“Good,” I said. “I’ve got all kinds of them in the basement that I stockpiled for a fund raiser I’m working on. I’m sure I can part with 6 boxes and get more later on when I really have to have them.”

Oh my goodness! You would have thought I offered her an all expenses paid trip to the place of her wildest dreams!

I hustled on down my basement steps and pulled together 6 boxes for her. It took two trips to get them upstairs and over to her house. She was waiting with open arms and a mountain of thanks.

Oh my gosh, if giving feels this good, anyone could get high on passing around clean empty boxes to folks who really need them.

And that’s what makes this a spiritual exercise:

  • pay attention to what’s going on around you,
  • listen to what folks need,
  • then step up and do what you can with what you’ve got.

Have you done something like this? Or have you been the lucky person on the receiving end? Click on the “comment” link and tell us your story.

Janice M. Puta
Author of Pathways: Tales for the Spiritual Seeker
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