“Love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:34 Even from my corner to the world I hear You say this to me . Yes, to begin here, in this small space O Lord, I will call out your name to the ends of the earth – even my little patch of it. In today’s scripture (Acts 11:21) Barnabas was firm in commitment to bringing Your word O God, given through Your Son Jesus Christ, to the communities in which he traveled. He did what it took to bring others to Jesus, strengthening and encouraging all he met.
He modeled to them Jesus, he fed the people this word, and no small conversation was lost. Because he knew in his heart that nothing is small when done in love. No act of kindness is lost from You Father, no gift or act of selfishness is not seen by Your eyes. Barnabas made this commitment to follow the Disciples in their work of evangelizing.
So what do I hear? First, I know, it takes surrender. Like St. Ignatius of Loyola, acknowledging and accepting my powerlessness over the sinful ways I still walk, must come before fruit can be seen in the works I do for You. When I fail, I need to bring it to You. Powerlessness. That is a very hard word for me.
You know I love a challenge, a task, a creative outlet for my energies. My heart desires to sing Your praises, to fall down on my knees and give You all glory. My tears of love are at a moment ready to fall. But so often I feel I am so far from You because of my sinful thoughts and actions of pride, vanity and selfishness. Too often I use the wall of “my life” over letting You, Father, act in me in the lives of others. Protection of my time and prudence in the works I choose is important and I need to continually bring these to You. The scale of where I should/could be is often blurred. I cared for my mom, dad, my Benny, even my brother, sister and grandchildren. You gave them to me. Thank you Father. For looking back at the gift of being there for them is a great and joyful memory of Your love for me. Truly it was hard and I often wondered why me. But now I know – for Your love grew not only in me but in them as well.
Words are everywhere. Now in this country words of hate of neighbor, of dismantling those who choose to give their lives to protect us are under scrutiny and violence. Who will stop those who are fully engaged with the enemy? How will the madness end? There are many pointing fingers and few stepping up to bridge the gap. The high and mighty are far from the lowly. Lord what will come next? Will my few words help someone when so many words can be chosen from more intelligent communities?
You know I have been mulling over this work of typing my thoughts and placing them on the edge of being seen by others. I realize, it is not because I am afraid, it is because I still think it is from me. Now I see it is not. Because I have nothing to give. All I have comes from You. You give me everything – the ability to think, breath, walk, talk – everything I have is by Your grace. This is the powerlessness I seek, to recognize Your gifts in me, Your power in me, Your grace and fruit should You choose I should bear it.
Help me to keep this perspective that I am nothing. Whatever I can give, sacrifice, or offer to You is only what You have already given to me. Even my sinful acts, thoughts, words You allowed to come upon me. Whether from the enemy, to teach me or strengthen me for battle, responding with love is a way I can honor You. Loving others as You love me.