Good Deeds

This is a place to recount an act by people who want to reach out to their neighbor, their community, their world, if just for a moment. This touching of the world, by just one act, can change the world. It can change those touched. Most importantly, it can change the one who touches.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Rose For Morgan

He strode into the Wal-Mart, this Marine. Tall and sure, he did not make eye contact with anyone. But he saw everyone and he could tell they saw him too. Middle aged women with carts full of groceries, young boys looking up at him, old men saw him and remembered themselves like him, in days past when they fit the uniform of their younger days in the service. So he didn't look at them, but he saw them all. And they saw him. A little embarrased as well. Like an alien he felt, especially so because he was in his camo uniform. Out in town. A big no no, but something he had to do because of the time. So he walked tall, conscious of the looks, and of his own gate and the way he swung his arms as he walked.

"Yes, I shop here too", he must have thought to himself with in response to the stares. Then his eyes saw what he was looking for and he switched his cover to his left hand. He picked up the pretty white roses with his right, only taking a moment to know they were the ones. It only took a moment and that was good because someone who knew the rule might say something to him. But that must have already been considered in his mind, but he knew through experience that sometimes, some rules can be broken. At that moment, at that time in all the universe, those roses were meant for him.

He chose his line and paid and, flowers in hand, the Marine turned to the men's room. On the way he heard a woman remark to another that "that man is buying roses for his wife." He heard the remark, and unsure if that remark was indirectly meant for him, he continued ahead and went in, hearing, but not looking in the direction of the remark. There wasn't time and he was a little embarrased, this Marine with a handful of pretty white roses.

A few moments later the door opened up and the Marine strode out with the roses in one hand and his carkeys and cover in the other and quickly walked towards the exit. Eyes forward, he put a little speed in his step, not wanting to be told he was breaking a rule for being out in town in his uniform. I could see his head turn, and as he did he saw the woman who made the comment about the roses. He looked at her and smiled and she smiled back. And the Marine saw a pretty girl in a wheelchair that the woman was standing with. He walked past a few steps, this Marine. And then he stopped. He walked back to that girl with the strikingly beautiful grey eyes, but before he did, he put his cover between his legs and with his free hand, pulled out a rose, and laid it down next to the pretty girl. She couldn't speak and she turned away. He could tell she was aware of him, although her arms and hands and face were not in her direct control.

He asked the woman, "Can she hear me?"

The woman replied, "Oh yes, she hears everything."

"What is her name?", the Marine asked the woman.

"Her name is Morgan", she answered him.

The Marine touched the white rose and looked at the girl with all of his heart.

"Morgan", he said. "You are very beautiful. This rose is for you."

The Marine then pulled himself up and walked away.

I saw his in his eyes something of happiness and sadness and love, if that is possible to feel that way about someone that touched your life, if even for just a moment. It was as if I could see a sense of worth and a sense of being there at that moment was the place they were all supposed to meet, if even for a moment, to give a rose to a beautiful girl named Morgan, and to receive much more in return. At that moment, at that time in all the universe, Morgan was there for him, and the rose was meant for her.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Coyotita's Giving Heart: The Earrings and the Young Girl

This is a guest blog written by you. Please feel free to share your stories and they will be posted for all to read and be inspired by.

Well, I have been feeling low. Too many disappointments, children off doing what they find most interesting and maybe more important to them; wondering if this job is worth the effort; questioning my Catholic faith because I am exposed to faithless people who are supposedly leading the religious life, and leading us. I walk into a fatburger place on the way home. I order the turkey combo and the young girl behind the register admires my earrings. I say thank you, and start to empty both wallets of their change. I can make up the difference with my credit card, I think, but I prefer to get rid of the coins that are weighing my purse down. I am short, maybe 30 cents. The very young girl behind the register sees me counting this change and goes to the back and brings me a dollar bill, saying here, you've got enough. I look at her, this time seeing her and feel ashamed, because in the past, when someone sincerely admires something I possess, I have given it away -- usually to perfect strangers. It makes them and me happy. But this afternoon, because I can't really see what's in front of me, I don't allow that inspiration to touch my heart. My heart is warmed by this young girl's generosity and as I try to turn down the generous offer, her young manager standing nearby, gives her a second total, that is about 30 cents less than what the original bill was. I turn and see him and try to explain, but finally decide that yes, I will accept their generous spirit and I remove my earrings and give them to the young girl, who of course tries to turn them down. I explain: I am Indian and Indians give to those who admire a possession -- that means the possession is really for them and we give freely.
The end of this story is not whether she accepted the earrings, or if I accepted the lower cost of my purchase, but that the young woman's generous spirit warmed my heart and I don't feel so bad anymore. I regained my identity as a loving, giving human being. May the Great Mystery bless her abundantly and may we all be blessed with a generous spirit! I am grateful today, and that's enough for me.

An Indian Prayer
O' GREAT SPIRIT, Whose voice I hear in the winds,And whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me!I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom.
Let Me Walk In Beauty, and make my eyesever behold the red and purple sunset.Make My Hands respect the things you have madeand my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make Me Wise so that I may understandthe things you have taught my people.Let Me Learn the lessons you have hiddenin every leaf and rock.
I Seek Strength, not to be greater than my brother,but to fight my greatest enemy-myself.Make Me Always Ready to come to youwith clean hands and straight eyes.
So When Life Fades, as the fading sunset,my spirit may come to youWithout Shame.
courtesy of Red Cloud Indian SchoolPine Ridge, South Dakota

Thursday, January 11, 2007

"We can go through all the activities of our days in joyful awareness of God's presence with whispered prayers of praise and adoration flowing continuously from our hearts." Richard Foster
That's what makes life so rich, learning from the chance meetings and everyday happenings - being aware of God's presence in everything and everyone.
Looking for miracles.
Everday we can turn the water of seemingly random occurences and chance meetings into the wine of inspiration and learning. We just have to open our eyes and see. How beautiful is this day God has made for us and how sweet is the wine of His presence to fill it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Miracles are really, an everyday occurence. I believe that with all of my heart. I just have to open my eyes and find them. The first one begins with the first breath I take when I wake up. That one is a gimme. But after that, the morning routine sets in.

That means traffic.

Not just any traffic, but Post-Katrina-New-Orleans-Traffic or P-KNOT for short. P-KNOT will make you forget your blessings. P-KNOT will test your faith, your patience, and your brake-pads.This morning was going to be tough. The weather has turned cool and dry and beautiful for the first time this season. (For those who have never spent time in New Orleans, that means less than 80 degrees and 80 percent humidity at the same time.)

What that also means is that P-KNOT'ers will LOSE THEIR MINDS!Now I'm being unfair.They LOSE THEIR MINDS for any old reason. Sure enough, after weaving around the slow pokes in the left lane, dodging a 4 car accident (I said a quick silent prayer for them but they looked okay) on the right, I made it to the toll bridge. Then after all that - - (I am abbreviating the rest of the trip but I promise you - more of the same) - - a stalled 18 wheeler at the toll entrance! So I switched to another lane just in time. But another guy in a blue collar p/u truck wasn't so lucky.
Now sometimes we have to be miracles for others.
So I let him in front of me. We inched up and he finally made it to the booth. He took a little longer than usual, but no worries. Then it was my turn and the toll booth worker waved me through...HE PAYED MY TOLL!

He payed my toll.

Totally undeserved except for maybe a good deed I did because he needed it. Maybe you might think I look too hard for the good stuff. Read into things. But I firmly believe these are the ways God speaks to us. Maybe he does speak through the tears of a statue, but I like to think he made our hands for greater things.
Besides, statues can't pay your toll for you.

Friday, August 04, 2006

"Into the Mystic"

Wanted to share a cool story with you. Stopped into an old junk/antique shop where I have found a few treasures thrown out by folks God knows how long ago and found one of my favorites by Van Morrison. I should've known it was cash only. Should've known but forgot. So just as I was was going to turn and walk away, a dollar or two short - I felt a tap on my shoulder and I turned around. A man about 50 or so stood in my way and said, "that was my wife's favorite song before she passed away." And he gave me the money I was short. Before I turned around he was gone. Not sure if I remembered to say "thank you." So I went home and listened to it through his ears, through her ears, through thier hearts and mine and I could see them. They'll both live on after the fog horn blows. I love this song. Thank you for giving it a whole new meaning.
Now I want to share it with you.

VAN MORRISON - "Into The Mystic"

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic
And when that fog horn blows I will be coming home
And when the fog horn blows I want to hear it
I don't have to fear it
And I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And magnificently we will flow into the mystic
When that fog horn blows you know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows I got to hear it
I don't have to fear it
And I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will flow into the mystic
Come on girl...
Too late to stop now...
photo by by Ja chega

Thursday, August 03, 2006

"God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on the trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars."
-Martin Luther

"Hear within us, the sounds of the earth crying"
-Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh

"How am I possibly diminished by a wolf's death? What difference could the shooting of a few Alaskan wolves possibly make in my life?...Yet I tell the story anyway...It speaks to me of the potential extent of the circle of human compassion, a sign of connection with all creation. I felt and shared in another's loss, even when the 'other' is one with whom I didn't realize I shared an intimate connection. For the moment, the percieved walls of my separation came down."
-Michael Schut, of the faith based environmental group Earth Ministry

As I look up at the stars in the summer sky this evening, my mind can't help but think that we know more about the stars in Hollywood than we do about our own neighbors. What stories do our neighbors have to tell that can change us? There are stories everywhere that God uses to speak to us. Even the earth has stories. My paleontologist friends can see that in the bones they study.

We are all connected. The moon I see tonight is your moon. The trees that will be cut down tomorrow are your trees. My neighbors are your neighbors. We are all connected. So hear the stories of the earth, and the stories of lives. And then learn about yourself and act. Scott Russell Sanders of the Utne Reader writes: "Every gesture, every act, every choice we make sends ripples of influence into the future." So choose to hear their stories, it is a good deed for others and for yourself.

photo by

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Your prayers move God to change the world. You may not understand the mystery of prayer. You don't need to. But this much is clear:

Actions in heaven begin when someone prays on earth.
What an amazing thought!
-Max Lucado
There may be times, no, there will be times when you feel separated from what is larger than yourself, a spouse, your family, or your community. When this happens, take the time to think and pray. It is this time that you need to reconnect with yourself so that you can connect with others. Before the prophets, the great Holy Ones, the Teachers, went out into the world to preach and act on their love, they took account of themselves. This accounting of themselves is the starting point for all good deeds and acts. To act for others you must act for yourself, and prayer is the gift given to us to use to start the reconnection.

photo by