Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Satisfied Heart

"Okay Maddalena, we love you. We're praying for you," I said. I gave one last wave. My future mother-in-law was lying on a hospital bed, dressed in a blue gown. She smiled, but I could see the tenseness around her eyes.

Maddalena waved back with her fingers. "It'll be over soon," she said. "Then we're done."

Rick and I left the hospital. The day was gray, windy, rainy. The surgery would take several hours to complete, as well as recovery time to wake up from the anesthesia.

I wanted to get Maddalena some flowers for when she woke up. Maybe we could go to the store and buy some.

When we got home, I got absorbed in work and lost track of time. I then glanced at the clock and realized - oh dear, much too late to go to a florist shop.

Rick and I put on our shoes and walked out the front door. I saw that Maddalena's hibiscus bush was blooming brilliantly, even on such a gloomy day as this. The giant orange flowers twirled playfully, their centers a bright red, their stamens reaching out as if to say, "Hello!"

It is described that the flower represents Krishna's smiling face. Maybe that's why we smile when we see them. I smiled and picked a hibiscus.

When Rick and I reached the hospital, I put the flower into a paper cup and filled it with water from the tap. We waited a long time, anxiously checking the computer screen to see when Maddalena would be ready for visitors.

At long last, we were ushered over by the doctor to discuss her condition - she was doing very well. Soon after a nurse guided us to Maddalena's unit. Rick entered first, and he held her hand. She spoke softly, her movements heavy.

Then she turned to me, and when she saw the flower, a smile blossomed on her face. I was struck by the sudden light that shone from her eyes. "Oh! You brought me a flower! How beautiful!" I handed her the paper cup and she beamed. She then had me place the cup on the little hospital table.

Maddalena is a woman of great spirit and also movement. She insisted on getting dressed in her own clothes right then, and with a call for a wheelchair to assist her out of the hospital, we were ready to go. "Where's my flower? Bring my flower," and I dutifully brought the flower.

When we got home, I helped Maddalena climb the stairs to her room to rest. When she was lying down in bed, she said, "Bring my flower, put it here,"

So I brought up her flower and placed it on her nightstand. I then held her hand, sang to her the Nrisimhadeva Prayers for protection, and gently slipped away.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that one need only offer Him a leaf, flower, piece of fruit, or water with love, and He will accept it. I had given Maddalena a flower from her own bush, in a paper cup. And yet she saw the little drop of love with which that flower was offered, and that is what she treasured. Her heart was deeply moved by this flower, she had smiled, her spirits had lifted.

God can be satisfied with the Hope diamond. He can be satisfied with a wildflower. He could be satisfied with a single drop of water. All that it takes is a drop of our own love, to offer what He already owns back to Him, and God's heart is satisfied. Amazing. The creator of the universe is satisfied by a wildflower.

This is bhakti. Bhakti costs nothing.


Bhakti is the expression of the heart, the soul. Bhakti is so simple, so breathtakingly, sublimely simple.

1 comment:

Anusha Nair said...

'All that it takes is a drop of our own love, to offer what He already owns back to Him and God's heart is satisfied'. Humbly praying to meditate upon this and remember this to get a glimpse of the Lord's love. Haribol!

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