I have spoken about Dr Dyer’s inspirational read power of intention. There is a chapter in the book though that reminds me of an experience I hold in my heart relating to ‘acts of kindness’….a personal experience..hope you enjoy x
This act of kindness came as a romantic gesture in unlikely circumstances. I was a support co ordinator of a church program, and he was a homeless man called Maurice. An alcoholic, who lived on the street, a far cry from his past status of wine merchant, wealthy and successful. There was a hint of a once handsome man, latino appearance and still had a twinkle in his eye. Maurice came to the church for a meal and sometimes a clothes voucher.
Maurice often caused trouble at the Drop In centre, as he could rarely turn up sober, and he liked to act like he owned the world after drinking. He would brag of a past life, and often tried to convince himself that he could return to old status whenever he chose. We had our doubts. He would go to the Vincent de paul with his clothes voucher, and would come out in full suit and tie, shoes shined. The next day, he could be unrecognisable.
This isn’t really a story about alcoholism, or about my role in his existence, but instead what he did for me one hot day…..
He knew bits and pieces about me… that I was from Ireland, and that I was living away from my family. He would tell me stories of his life, and spoke as if he truly believed he was living as he genuinely chose to. I didn’t really believe him, and we always reminded him of his other options. He had an air of superiority about him, and was quite demanding, coming in late for meals, drunk and verbally abusive, and gave us hassle and a few headaches…. all part of the job at the time
One day I left work with a frown and a shake of my head at whatever challenge Maurice had offered. It was a hot December day in Sydney, a far cry from the cold crisp one they had been describing to me earlier on the phone in Ireland. We were approaching the christmas holidays …
On my commute to work the next morning, i headed into inner city Sydney from the western suburbs. I walked up Oxford street and as usual sights of colour and bizarre met me from the night before!!!!…. and continued up the hill. Paddington is a desired real estate area of Sydney. Leafy streets, choices of sleek and shiny or vintage style cafes, high market cotoure and design.
In Paddington, my place of work at the uniting church gave plots of ground surrounding the church to homeless sydney dwellers. The sun was already heating the air as I approached the hall beside the church. I could already hear John, another patron of the centre shouting obscenities accross the street…All was as normal ..Sun beating down, it was gonna be a hot one!
As I turned the corner,into the shade, the heat disappeared, and what appeared before my eyes, and the feeling in the pit of my stomach brought tears to my eyes! There was a blanket of what appeared to be snow, covering the entire cobble stone surrounding the church, reaching up as far as the leaves of the trees!!!!!!!
….astonished and exited I held my hand over my wide smile as my happy confusion had me gob smacked!
‘Happy Christmas!!’ It was Maurice, bottle in hand. “Now you won’t be homesick for Christmas!”, He shouted. Admin staff from the church began to appear. “This is bad, this is bad”, they were saying. Maurice, had gone around all the sleeping bags and pillows, had taken the stuffing out of them, and scattered it everywhere! A very professional job he did too! The clean up was enormous, and the replacement of all the sleeping gear of homeless people left with not as much as a pillow!!!!
You know what, my work was cut out for me that day, replacing the bedding, and cleaning up the church grounds… but I didn’t notice the sun, and I felt like I was in the right place at the right time. I never did get to thank him for that. It was amazing to be the recipient of a such a grand gesture, however mischievious and misplaced! It reminded me to show love, express it when i can, and know that it means a lot!
Thanks Maurice xx wherever you are!