Maria stumbles through the door with a heavy car seat. Her baby girl, whom she just picked up from daycare, is crying out of hunger. Maria is exhausted from a hard day’s work, but proceeds to do her chore, feed and change her baby, wash the bottles, and somehow hold a personable conversation with me. Maria has many troubles in her life that she overcomes on a daily basis.

But right now, she sets them aside to be present in the duty of the moment.

This woman has hardly eaten all day, but a frown does not appear on her face, nor a complaint escape her lips as she tends to her baby girl. She uses the very last ounce of energy in her body to generously care for her little one.

Nancy walks into the house office inquiring about Mandy, “How is she? Is she okay? I will not sleep tonight until I know she is okay.” Mandy is ill and beside herself. Nancy is facing many challenges of her own, and needs to be up at the crack of dawn for work. 

This does not matter. Nancy puts her needs on the backburner, in order to care for Mandy. Nancy makes little visits to Mandy’s room, offers comfort and encouragement, and jumps at the opportunity to fetch whatever it is Mandy might need. Nancy stands ready to love and care for her Maggie’s Place sister.

“Marykate, Marykate…” calls Andrea in hushed tones across the kitchen. “Did you look in your drawer?” 

“No?” I answer in a wondering tone. Andrea watches as I slowly make my way over to my kitchen drawer. I open it, and there to greet me is a jar of hazelnutty, chocolatey goodness. Yes, before me lies a jar of the greatest spread known to man: Nutella.

I had a hard week, and even though Andrea does not know the swirling situations in my life, she sees the difficulty. Andrea also knows of my profound love for the popular cocoa hazelnut spread. In an effort to make me feel loved and appreciated, Andrea puts the little she has into a gift for me. There are countless needs in Andrea’s life that would prove more worthy of the money spent, but not in Andrea’s eyes. Andrea sees through the eyes of love.

When I reflect on the generosity of the moms of Maggie’s Place, I think of the widow in the Gospel of Mark who gives all that she has to the House of God (Mark 12:41-44).

Just as she gives every ounce of her livelihood out of love for the Lord, the moms of Maggie’s Place give every ounce of themselves out of love for their children and others. 

The daily outpouring of love the moms give to their babies, fellow moms, and the MissionCorps reflects the selfless love of Christ. My own heart of service has been radically moved as a result of the moms’ examples to me. Through the witness of their lives, I am learning how to take love to the next level.

By Marykate Heim, a MissionCorps