After a recent art exhibit at a local restaurant, an individual from management had expressively mentioned how much she really liked one of my remaining pieces, "My Heart Runneth Over." When I had returned to the restaurant at the closing of my show, that was one of the few remaining pieces, and again, she expressed how fond she was of it.
I felt a nudge. I felt an urge. Give it to her.
After bringing it home, I truly felt that it was no longer mine, so I reloaded it back into the trunk of my car. The following Monday, after I had dropped my daughter off at pre-school, I drove over to the restaurant, sat in the parking lot and penned a short note to give to her, along with the painting. I approached the locked entrance, and when I asked the kind greeter if she was there, she replied, "Ohhhhh, she's not here yet, but she'll be here by 9:00am." It was 8:52am.
I could've waited, but I left. And I left it for her. That moment was for her heart- not me.
A week later I received the following email, which validated 1 Peter 4:10: “Use your God given gifts to serve one another as faithful stewards of His grace.”
I am so sorry it has taken so long to email you. I have been pretty busy at work lately and dealing with some family issues. I didn't want you to think that I forgot about the amazing act of kindness you bestowed upon me by giving me the painting. You seriously had me in tears.
What you did for me was absolutely amazing. I am a mom of two children as we discussed before. I went through a very bad divorce a few of years ago and it ripped my family apart. I have had to assume the roles of both mother and father to a teenager filled with hurt and angst and a young child with a broken heart. I work 55 hours a week and until recently between two jobs was working 65-70 hours per week. I was feeling very hopeless. I was sick a lot because of stress (which you saw firsthand) and overworking myself. Quite frankly, my heart had been broken for a while. I miss my children so so so much. I'm literally tearing up just writing this.
Giving me the painting was so touching. I hung it above my bed because when I come home at night and my body hurts I am reminded that love keeps me going.You are an amazing person. The painting has brought me luck. Since then I have become engaged to my childhood love, Nick. He loves my children like they are his own and treats me like a queen. My children are blossoming in school and my career is looking brighter by the day. You truly touched me. Please don't stop reading people the way you do. I will never forget this for as long as I live."
Maria's hand painted signature Love Stones are small and simple, yet big enough to fill a heart. It's truly amazing, how something so small can have such a big impact on those around us. Whether it be the flight attendant who has gone out of his/her way to accommodate you, the waiter/waitress who went above and beyond her service, the law enforcement officers who protect and serve, and especially those who fight for our freedoms, there is always someone to share a love stone with. Most recently, the sales clerk at a department store had shared with me how her husband had recently passed away and how she was really struggling with the grief, when, I quietly looked down at my daughter, who whispered, "a love stone?" Yes! As we extended the Love Stone to this sweet soul, the tears began to flow... from both of us. She told me how her husband always sends her signs of his presence, and how it was a moment that she'd never forget... and neither would I.Here are a few more sentiments of how Love Stones have been shared with others around the world:
-"After buying some of your Love Stones, I sent them to the east coast for friends of mine to carry while running in the Boston Marathon for good luck! Such a great way for us to stay connected during the race!"
-"With my college-aged daughter venturing off to Israel for the summer, I gave her some of your Love Stones, for her to place at the Western Wall. How magical to have your art placed at the world's most sacred place!"
-"While visiting my mother in the hospital after falling into a coma, I'd sit with her, and speak to her. One day, I gave her one of the two Love Stones that I had, when she suddenly began to stroke it in her hand. I knew she could hear me. Thank you for that moment of hope!"
-"I took my three-year-old daughter to a local Starbucks on Valentine's Day, where we handed out Love Stones to spread some love to the patrons, baristas and anyone we thought could use a "little" love. Hearing my young daughter say, "this is for you," and to see the smile it would bring to others was truly priceless."
-"During a recent camping trip with my family, always having Love Stones in my wallet, I chose to leave some love for the next guests coming into the camp site. Before leaving, in the middle of the picnic table, I gently placed three Love Stones, waiting to be found. I hope that whomever found them, felt a little bit of love."