I woke this morning to the sound of a dove. I thought I was dreaming, but the laughing sound of its flight repeated every few minutes, her wings speaking good morning to me on the wind.
“Wake up sleeper, come out to the Vineyard there’s so much to hear.”
Doves flit peacefully through my memories. Making me think of you and your godmother Aloma, , her name means “dove”. She baptized you, and she knew the miracle that you were.
Aloma ~Dove ~ Peace
The Vineyard stairways new grown grass looks like wild morning hair, in need of a haircut. So I brought out a pair of scissors.
You first introduced me to this sweetest of women on the way home from a Tahoe trip when we were dating.
I was mesmerized watching your kindness toward this widow. You explained her husband had passed in the midst of a move from Italy. He had purchased their house which she now lived in, without her seeing it, without him ever sharing it. Now, years later, the boxes were still waiting to be unpacked. You sat with ease at her modest kitchen table, genuinely smiling at her. She offered food, cookies and coffee, and you accepted knowing it would bless her to be hospitable to you. You put a smile on her face from the time she answered the door, until you kissed her goodbye.You asked questions and listened to her share about the bus route she took to grocery shop, or to go to the doctor. She talked about the blackberries she had to take care of on her property and cutting her half acre of grass.
She cut it with scissors.
I remember looking at her hands, and her eyes and my heart hurting for her. And I remember you smiling at her and communicating value to her soul with your visit.
I remember wondering how she would cut her giant front yard grass with a pair scissors. I wondered why she would do such a thing. Her whole house packed up in boxes, you would offer to help her and she would refuse with a laugh in her sing songy voice. She was so beautiful, just so lovely. And you were so understanding toward her grief and the way she had to live because of it. I watched and wondered at your gentle kindness and compassion. I knew then you were a man of true integrity.
Every trip to Tahoe, would include a stop to check on her. And every time you would put the most beautiful smile on her face and fill my heart with admiration toward you. You could have driven right past and she would have never known. Clearly, you didn’t stop out of guilt, obligation or expectation. Your stopped because your heart and soul were sensitive to Christ's, they led you to stop and let her know how valuable and precious she was to you and to God.
This is the gentle, quiet selflessness I fell in love with. This is the honor, respect and humble understanding of caring for the widow, of caring for those God has given you. This is the character of my husband. This pure reflection of our Heavenly Father’s love, is the example you as a father gave to your children. This is true compassion. How blessed we all are to have received your light.
I experienced watching this compassion as a child, riding in the back seat to church with my uncle and aunt. They would pick up his great aunt Grace, and she would whistle her morning song sitting next to me. As I listened, I took in her delicate wrinkles and pale blue eyes framed in widow’s lace. She’d climb the church stairs on my uncle’s arm being led with honor to her pew. This is where I met God. This is where I watched Christ living in someone and comforting another. This is where I knelt and prayed and longed to know my Heavenly Father. This was the same church Angelo was baptized in.
I whistled Aunt Grace’s song this morning, simply breathing in the gift of today.
I picked blackberries, remembering Aloma’s hands serving us from the bounty of her grief being comforted.
I cut our grass with scissors and watered it with tears, and I saw your genuine smile as you sat at her table, as you watch over me and I felt so grateful for you.
“Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Psalm 85:10
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:28
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
Peace: Shalowm Hebrew completeness, soundness, welfare, peace completeness (in number) safety, soundness (in body) welfare, health, prosperity peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment peace, friendship of human relationships with God especially in covenant relationship peace (from war) peace (as adjective)
Eirene Greek a state of national tranquillity exemption from the rage and havoc of war peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous) of the Messiah's peace the way that leads to peace (salvation) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is the blessed state of devout and upright men after death