On my way back to my home state of Wisconsin for a dear friend’s funeral service :
Every opportunity I get , I will make a trip to Holly Hill , Basilica and National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians on a hilltop in Hubertus Wisconsin.
It is a magical , unique Basilica overlooking miles of trees and countryside ; Much like the castles and cathedrals of Europe .
The interior to me is so mystical and spiritual ; it transcends day-to-day life and transports one to peaceful and exotic places.
So , imagine it through the eyes of an eight-year-old;
this struck me , when on a winters day I found one very large door open to the Basilica, wandered through out it , said a prayer inside and was preparing to leave the building.
Just as I pressed the button for the huge church door to automatically open to the outside, an eight year old boy had just begun his attempt to open this huge door by hand from the outside to enter .
Suddenly , when that door magically opened and I saw his face peering at me and the massive space as though he had just seen a ghost ; staring at the inside of the church in this great state of wonder as to what lie beyond this heavy magical door with his expression of amazement .
He actually said Wow , and it made me smile and imagine the world of wonder through an eight year old eyes ; what seems real , imaginary , impossible or unexplained and the look on his face was all those things , as this inside world of the Basilica appeared to him.
I hope and pray that I and many of us can look at the world through the eyes of an eight year old.
If that is too hard a feat , then trying to put ourselves in the eyes and circumstances of others as often as we can .
I have quick examples of that and the reminder to me , how little I know of what others are experiencing , how they feel , how their words might convey it and how much effort I put into trying to listen and understand.
At this funeral service eulogy , the minister was discussing our friend and her husband as people who would make one feel very comfortable in their homes
He described it as ; they would raise themselves up to where their guests are , understanding and empathizing with genuine interest at their situation and circumstances and offer graciousness , their full attention and respect.
I thought this was a wonderful description of our friends and the humility these very successful people possessed and with which they lived their lives.
After the service, I told the minister how well he captured our friends; he appreciated that and felt comfortable enough to tell me it was from the heart. I asked him how he was doing and he told me he had been recently diagnosed with a cancer that would be tough to beat and that each day provided more black-and-white moments of stark reality of the blessings and opportunities that came his way and how important it became to him to make the most of them.
Finally , as is often the case at eulogies of others and services , you learn something about the individual you didn’t know , but wish you had . As I commented on this to another friend , she said , well now you can do something about that , taking time to get to know others better.
All this is to say , while it is human nature to look inside and dwell on our own feelings , challenges and shortcomings , there’s more to learn about ourselves as we look at the world through others eyes as we get to know them, talk with them ,listen to them and look at the world through their eyes.
The world is filled with wonder ……. if we are looking for it .