Last week I shared with you Sid’s and my most recent adventures in the Mitzvah Mobile and I ended with some simple examples of ways we all can serve others – by sharing a meal, checking in with a phone call, offering to drive. How I didn’t know at the time the deeper message of those words. . .
These past few days we have been mourning the loss of our dear friend and Senior Cantor Phil Bromwell. None of us are really alone. Yet each of us often have times when we miss each other. We have the intimacy of Yeshua literally in every breath. And yet in today’s swirl of busy-ness, it’s so easy to get swept away in the swirl and just not show up for others in the many seemingly small ways that are actually enormously important.
On my jog with HaShem on Sunday morning, having just learned the day before of Phil’s passing, I couldn’t help but feel guilty that I hadn’t spent enough time with him. I thought back to the many times together over the years, and yet, the times when weeks could go by without my really knowing how he was doing. Thankfully we saw each other on Shabbats but with Sid’s and my schedules, that was not always possible either.
As I prayed, repented, spoke with Phil and with God, I was reminded of how fragile we are, how fragile our relationships, and what amazing opportunities we have to bless each other by just showing up. Our Abba’s love for us really is transmitted through our relationships with others, the small acts of kindness, the awareness that someone else actually cares about us whether that is a friend or family member. When this network of love is expanded to community interactions and relationships, its power and purpose is even more magnified.
As these thoughts raced through my meditations, conversations, and prayers, I spotted in the middle of the woods just off the trail I jog/walk regularly, a piece of furniture. It was a large stereo cabinet. It even had two broken stereo speakers falling out the back and its wooden sides were partially broken showing the toll taken by its abandonment. How had I not seen this before???!!!! And how could such a large piece of furniture have ended up in the middle of the woods about 40 feet from a groomed Westford hiking trail?
Somehow, today, as I looked back at it, the message was clear. If a tree falls in a forest, does anyone hear? The one we know who hears is HaShem, even if everything around it seems to be fine. When we are as the distressed wood, broken, silent speakers in a forest, the trees, our community will continue to grow. Yet, we are diminished, broken and silent, for not bringing forth our voices to share His love with others. Those around us may not be aware of the loss of our voice, or at least so it may seem. Our Abba knows the missed opportunity.
There are times being alone is so important, actually shown by the many inspirations that come when we have our special individual times with our Abba. When we take those teachings, those times, those outpourings of love to others through the many ways that we can, how amplified our voices of love and service to others become. How changed the hearts, ours and those we so serve.
I end this week’s Shabbat encouragement where I ended last week, more strengthened in the importance of these small, yet powerful, words:
We all have so much on our plates, such busy schedules. It really does seem like we can’t do one more thing. I completely understand. Yet I challenge you this week to just show up. You don’t have to drive hundreds of miles. It can be making that phone call, cooking that meal for another, offering to drive, just checking in to say you were thinking of someone, so many ways to share His Love. Push through, don’t overthink, and go that extra mile for someone else.
Just show up.