A couple of weeks ago I heard a talk from a speaker who touched on the value and worth of a person. He spoke of the gift of those among us who are able to look at a person and see their immense value whether they are rich or poor, healthy or sick, powerful or meek. He quoted the great artist, Michelangelo: "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." This image made a profound impact on me. As I took this thought and asked myself some tough questions, I realized that I sometimes behave as though I imbue worth to a person by the way I see them rather than see the person's inherent worth and behave accordingly. What I want in my life is to see as the artist sees, to do the work like the sculptor who carves away at the superfluous. And what is superfluous, what is excess is not for me to decide. However, not everyone knows or sees the great masterpiece in themselves. Not everyone has the tools to discover the value and worth of their own lives. But when I set out to love and serve others, to fight for justice and do the part I have been given, somehow, this love can work to release them from the weights and stones that weigh them down. This love and goodness can empower them to see the same value and worth in themselves no matter what their situation might be.
Last week Sparrow & Co. was asked if we would be willing to help plan, prepare, and plant a garden plot that would supply fresh vegetables for the M.I.N.D. community kitchen in Scarborough. We were delighted at the opportunity. We had saved veggie plants from our sale to donate and this was the perfect place to put it to use. Tasha drew up a plan with all her knowledge of companion planting and succession planting in mind. We pulled out weeds and threw out litter and trash. We cleared the plot and marked out rows for planting and pathways for walking. We dug into the ground and planted baby vegetable plants and seeds. We watered. Now we wait for the harvest to come. Some of the locals came out to chat with us. Some came out to help get us tools and supplies. At the end of our time there, more and more people had gathered to watch us at work. We gave out plants to those who were interested in growing them on their apartment balconies.
What strikes me is that simple actions of service and love can draw out beauty in the hardest of places. Be it deep in the heart of rock, or beneath the weeds and litter, or the tough exteriors of a person, there is great treasure within waiting to be released. Food, nutrition, and health are important. But to use these in order to get to the masterpiece of human life; now that is what makes me proud of the work we do at Sparrow & Co..
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