It’s customary to bring a gift to someone who’s ill or going through a hard time. We bring flowers, a book, something warm and delicious to eat. This gift is our recognition that the one we love may be having a challenging time managing daily activities and could use a little help. It’s also a way of cheering that friend up with some beauty and attention.
The same impetus of love and generosity inspires us to visit and make beauty for a hurt place.
When we go to a sick friend or a wounded place, we don’t rush in with an intention to make things different from what they are; we accept the situation for what it is, even though we don’t like it.
We do not love our friend less because she is going through tough circumstances; we love her because of who she is. So, too, do we discover a startling new kind of love for a challenged place.
We give a gift to our friend because we care—and in doing that and being fully present for the current circumstances, we feel the relationship deepening. The same is true when we visit a hurt place. We come to know it in a new way and discover that our love and gratitude for it are not diminished by the hardship, but actually enhanced by our ability to share that reality.
And when we give a gift to a friend, whether a person or a place, we express that profound connection between us in a tangible form. Then we ourselves feel joy.
—April 20, 2022