When I do something kind or loving for someone else, I love to remember it. Remembering it makes me smile and feel so wonderful inside for the kindness I have shown to someone else or the love that I have spread.
On the other hand when I do something selfish, unkind or out of anger to another, I hate to remember it. The memory brings me sorrow, guilt and most of all pain.
I just finished reading The Book of my Life by Saint Teresa of Avila translated by Mirabai Starr. At one point in this book, St Teresa describes God as an unimaginably clear, fully transparent, beautiful, multifaceted diamond. After this description, St. Teresa talks about the pain and sorrow we will feel someday as we stand before this diamond and see our true self clearly witnessing not only our good actions, but also seeing our own selfishness, greed, anger, hatred, and envy reflected back and clouding the clarity, smudging the beauty of this diamond.
I love St. Teresa’s description and I can’t help but think of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:1-4
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Jesus please silence the trumpet that I sound within my heart when I spread love or perform a small act of kindness. Instead please hide my love from me and help me to clearly remember the painful moments of my unkindness, selfishness, and greed.
Then maybe someday if I ever do kneel before Your unimaginably beautiful diamond, I will not be shocked to painfully witness again my moments of failure, but instead might be joyfully surprised to see that I did spread a little love and perform a few small acts of kindness in Your Name, My Sweet Love.