Last night I sat on my deck and watched the sky play a game of cat and mouse with me. I wanted to be in a comfortable state of mind, so I had taken some pillows from our living room and heaped them in a corner of our deck.
My sketchpad lay open, and I stared down at the stark white page. I am not an artist, but my fingers itched to translate the beauty of the sky into a visual feast on paper. Scrolls of cerulean blue, magenta, and deep ochre painted the canvas above me.
Maybe the colours would leap to life under my paintbrush if I concentrated long and hard enough. I bent over my sketchpad, engrossed in getting the colours just right.
How much easier it would be if I didn’t need a paintbrush…I imagined the colours magically falling from the sky and coming to rest on my page. Suddenly, the paintbrush came alive in my hand, and I didn’t look up until I felt the classic ‘aha’ moment. That moment when a little voice in the creative hub room whispers, You got it, baby…
But while I had been struggling to capture the moment, the sky had shape shifted into something else entirely.
By the time I had painstakingly created something that could safely be tacked to the storage-shed wall, the sun had dipped behind a bank of trees.
The sun was gone, but it was a warm night. It held the kind of darkness that is strangely comforting. I was reluctant to leave my nest of pillows, so I waited for the darker, nighttime orb to take its place in the sky.
The moon was smudged over by layers of gauzy cloud, and I basked in the stillness of the night. Inside the circle of the moon was a network of lacy webs, like the Spirograph patterns I loved to create as a child.
The artistry took my breath away. Maybe the play of light was creating something out of nothing, but whatever the case, I was enjoying the show.
It struck me that the moon didn’t choose to reveal breathtaking beauty. It didn’t labour in front of the mirror, for hours at a time, intent on showing itself to maximum effect.
It simply showed up. Like a simple act of love. It arrives without any fanfare, and asks nothing of us.
My thoughts strayed to my friend, and co-founder of Ideal-Way, Robert Pio Hajjar. Before the birth of Ideal-Way, Robert sat down with his Aunt Addie and Uncle Don. He took a plain wooden box from under his bed, and emptied it. Nickels, dimes, and quarters spilled helter-skelter across the smooth expanse of his bedspread. Together, they counted the coins out loud.
Robert sat back and held his breath.His entire life savings, held out in the palm of his hand, for the sake of others.
He figured it would be in the thousands. But the amount didn’t matter. He just knew that what he was doing was right. God had told him that his Aunt Addie was the perfect person to start up a company for people just like him. And he would be the first donor.
As the last coin was deposited in the box, Addie Daabous held up her hand.
“Attention, everyone! The final amount is…drum roll, please…Sixty-two dollars and five cents!”
That was the beginning. The first donation to Ideal-Way.
“Do what God told me to tell you. Start something for people like me. Make their lives better…because they can’t do it for themselves,” Rob said.
As I sat on my deck, watching the sky transform from one glorious vision to another, it prompted me to think that I don’t need to work so hard to get things ‘just right.’
Maybe it’s time to leave the sketchpad at home, and just show up. Follow the lead of a Down syndrome man who didn’t struggle for one second with his decision to give everything away.
Rob is a reminder to shine your light into every corner of your world. And don’t be afraid to offer whatever gifts you have. The beauty contained in a simple act of love will transform every life around you.