Madeline Delbrel – Author – We, The Ordinary People of the Streets
“Each tiny act is an extraordinary event, in which heaven is given to us, in which we are able to give heaven to others.
It makes no difference what we do, whether we take in hand a broom or a pen. Whether we speak or keep silent. Whether we are sewing or holding a meeting, caring for a sick person or tapping away at a typewriter.
Whatever it is, it’s just the outer shell of an amazing inner reality: the soul’s encounter, renewed at each moment, in which, at each moment, the soul grows in grace and becomes ever more beautiful for her God.
Is the doorbell ringing? Quick, open the door! It’s God coming to love us. Is someone asking us to do something? Here you are! . . . it’s God coming to love us. Is it time to sit down for lunch? Let’s go–it’s God coming to love us!
Let’s let him.”
Madeline Delbrel (1904-1964) was a French woman who converted from atheism to Catholicism which led her to a life of social work in the atheistic, Communist-dominated city of Ivry-sur-Seine, France.
The above quote is taken from her posthumous publication We, the Ordinary People of the Streets (1966).
Delbrel notes that each little act we do is like an expression of God. We are either receiving Him or giving Him to someone else. Since we are created in the image and likeness of God, we can say that with every little act of love, it’s as if we are showing our “God-side” to another person.
The reverse is also true; as another person receives our small act, they, in return, are expressing God’s love for us. Almost like a mirror – what we give out is what we receive back.
This is why the Golden Rule is so popular – We need to treat others as we ourselves want to be treated. If we treat someone with kindness, it makes it very difficult for them to treat us poorly in return. If we show frequent expressions of goodness to people, they in turn will show us their goodness as well. Maybe not right away, but eventually.
Fit In Your Faith Today: Think of just a small event or action that you do everyday and celebrate it. Remember that although it’s small in your eyes, it’s perhaps a huge act to someone else. Small acts of kindness, a smile to a stranger in passing, a card sent to someone who’s having a rough day – these are all just small things but should be celebrated because you are showing your “God-side” to the world.