Give, and it will be given to you

As our Habitat for Humanity team worked together over the past two weeks, we had plenty of time to chat. We talked about our homes, our families and our hobbies. But there was one thing we never had to discuss: our reason for being half way around the world helping someone we had never met build a house. All of us knew that we were here for the same reason.


Compassion is one of my favourite words. I’m a signatory on The Charter for Compassion. And well-known theologian, Marcus Borg, believes that the word “love” in the Bible would better be translated as “compassion.” (Can you imagine how many marriages would improve if people promised to have compassion for their spouses instead of to love them?)

With all the people on our team working from this foundation of compassion, a miracle occurred. A vacant lot became the garden for growth of cultural understandings, gender appreciation, and, of course, a new home. When we held our good-bye celebration at the build site, tears flowed freely. We shared long, warm hugs with people from a different culture and with a different language we had met a mere 10 days earlier. The small building lot glowed with joy and heartfelt respect.  

I will return to Canada on a high created by the joy of helping a terrific family. I will never forget a Quechua mason brought to tears during his farewell speech. I will never forget the family standing on the sidewalk waving at our bus as we drove away.

We gave a little money. We gave a little time. And we got  back so much more than we gave.


About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on February 10, 2012, in Inspiration, Living life to the fullest, outreach and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

    Dalai Lama

  2. What a cool experience! And good on you and your fellow builders. I’m sure that family will never, ever forget what you’ve done for them, and vice versa. Love the heart rock. Did you find it there?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Millennial Pastor

An iPhone Pastor for a Typewriter Church

Invest In YourSelf First!!

Only We Can Change our Life, No one Else Do it For Us


awakening to the sacred feminine presence in our lives

Dr. Jen Gunter

Wielding the lasso of truth

and the words that echo..

a lot of words...

Hurry Up & Wait

Random thoughts and a collection of ideas, stories and photos

Alex on Faith

Growing in faith together!

Be Different "BUT" Be Yourself

Journey from severe depression - Self healing - Acceptance - Learning - Growth - Connecting - Understanding - Being Unique


« me arrodillo por las noches ante tigres que no me dejarán ser - lo que fuiste no será otra vez - los tigres me han encontrado pero no me importa. »

La Audacia de Aquiles

"El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-

Moral Fibre

Musings of She who Knits in Churches


comida italiana



The Godly Chic Diaries

Smiling • Writing • Dreaming

Be Blogger (Official)

Writing is all about finding the courage to write. And courage is all about realizing that some things are more important than fear.

Yellingrosa's Weblog

Poetry, Visual Arts, Music and IT Tech




Simple made easy! psychology love feeling emotion thought behaviour success strategy

%d bloggers like this: