Quiz time! How would you fill in the blank below?
A world that dies for a lack of____________.
Nope, neither one of those, though sadly both are true. But I'm thinking of something else.
Love. That's the word I'm thinking of.
A world that dies for a lack of love.
I read that this morning and it has been haunting me ever since...
Two days ago an incredibly perfect Prothonotary Warbler, full of life and song, decided the shortcut from one side of my yard to the other was through my sliding glass door.
I heard the heavy thump and my heart sank...I know that sound all too well. (Let it be known that Window Alerts and screens do not always work).
Throwing open the door, I found him lying in a soggy pot of red and green Coleus, his vibrant golds and yellows making it easy for me to spot him.
As I gently picked him up, cupping him in my hand for warmth, I began to talk to him and pray for him and yes, even sing to him...Jesus Loves Me is such a reassuring song in times of crisis.
I just wanted him to know he wasn't alone. That he was known. That he was loved.
As his body slowly stiffened, I cried. Not just for him, but for all the brokenness and loss throughout all of Creation.
I felt helpless. Angry. What can one person do, God!
It wasn't until after I had dried my tears and gently wrapped him up in tissue that I heard The Still Small Voice whispering into my soul...
"You did your part. You loved."
I stopped. I listened. But that was it. Two short sentences that came like bulldozers, clearing away the sadness for a glorious truth to take root...
I loved him.
When I cradled that dying bird in my hands, I could not save him. I could not heal him. No matter how much I desired to.
But I could love him. And through my loving, bring God into the situation...
For God is Love, and love is of God, and when I love, God is there!
Think of Mother Theresa...
She couldn't save all the dying people she ministered to. And she knew that.
But rather than throwing up her hands and walking away...retreating from the pain and suffering...
She walked into the depth and stench and messiness of it...with God.
She loved the unlovable...the dirty...the diseased...the sick and the dying.
And through a tiny diminutive servant, the world saw God. A God of Love.
I don't like pain. I don't like suffering. Or hurt. Or rejection. Or abandonment. I have often found it easier to turn away from them than to embrace them in others.
My heart beats for the day when all things are restored to the way they were meant to be.
But think about it...what is one of the first things meant to be?
God with us...God and Adam in the Garden. God with His people throughout history. Emmanuel. And now the Holy Spirit.
God with us in this whole crazy and broken and fragmented world.
Dear one, we live in a world that dies for a lack of love...to be known...to be held...to be loved.
We can't change the world as we wish we could.
But we can be the answer to someone's pain.
God through us.
Now let us go, and love abundantly.
"Humanity is like an enormous spider web, so that if you touch it anywhere,
you set the whole thing trembling.
As we move around this world, and as we act with kindness, perhaps, or with indifference, or with hostility, toward all the people we meet, we too are setting the great spider web a-tremble.
The life that I touch, for good or ill, will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt. Our lives are linked together. No man is an island." Frederick Buechner
Warbler- photo credit: <a f="http://www.flickr.com/photos/61021753@N02/7795911184">n245_w1150</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>
Spider web- photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/40238275@N02/3810546373">Shattuck_C28620, Spider webs, near Bungendore, NSW</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>
Mother Theresa- photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/43423301@N07/4143291615">Kolkata</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>
Lock- photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/56639832@N03/10247909945">Love Padlock</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>
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