Since as far back as I can remember, I have known what it means to “turn the other cheek”. I am guessing most of us, regardless of our religious stance have also heard these words and understand them. By understand, I do not necessarily mean practice. The “turn the other cheek” reference is illustrated around our relationships with our enemies. As I think about this, I begin to feel more concerned with how we treat people all around us, not just those who may become an enemy, per say.
It seems we have also all heard in one context or another to treat one another how we would like to be treated. I can only tell you how fortunate I am. There have been others who have made an amazing difference; they have treated me and my family with generosity and kindness which has changed who we are and kept us strong in our weakest of times.
We have been using the same carpet cleaning company for the last few years. One day, the receptionist from this company called us and said the owner had heard about Alyssa. As a gesture of kindness, he offered to clean the carpet in our entire house. He was not trying to earn our business, he already had it. He was being generous, just because.
Three years ago, we had new carpet put in our home. Unfortunately, it was not installed right. In fact, the carpet was not stretched properly, throughout. Over the last couple of years, we have noticed some of the arising problems, but had far more pressing issues to deal with. Yesterday, I contacted the company and was able to talk to the owner and share with him what was going on with the carpet. He came by a few hours later to take a look. At the end of looking things over, he offered to re-stretch the carpet, throughout the house, at no charge. The warranty was only good for one year, it’s been three. Talk about awesome, kind heart-ed, not to mention, generous.
Alyssa had one of her friends over for a play date. Beforehand, I purchased a Connect Four game, so the girls could play it together. I watched Alyssa’s playmate help Alyssa win. The most important thing was not about playing a certain way or being clever enough to win every game, which I am sure her friend could have done. Instead, it was important to Alyssa’s friend to share the experience, share what it feels like to win. They smiled together. It was adorable. This became more of a “connect friends”, than a Connect Four game.
Alyssa and I have this little “thing we do”. She will come to me and sit on my lap, facing me. I will touch my cheek to hers and say, “Cheek to cheek”. She has the best eye contact with me, as we get closer and closer, to our cheeks touching. We stay close for many seconds, and then she will lean back and turn my face to the other side. We take turns saying, “Cheek to cheek”. She lights up, giggles, smiles and she is very gentle. She will put her arms around me and give me a full hug, while having her cheek pressed against mine. This experience does amazing things for me, as a mom and person.
As I reflect on so many wonderful experiences, I would like to think “turn the other cheek” is simply an opportunity, for us, to turn our face, come together and go cheek to cheek, with one another. Alyssa and others have taught me this. I hope to be as generous, as I can be, not out of anything more, than the need to share similar good feelings and happiness, like I have been graciously awarded in my life, by others. I would like to go on “cheek to cheek” with all those I encounter. With our cheeks pressed together, gently, lovingly, it’s hard to have feelings that would allow an enemy to be present.
Thank you for reading and have a great week. Angie