Does it play a role in our everyday world?
What kinds of love are we instructed to practice?
God inspires love, awe, reverence and respect. We acknowledge His majesty, His goodness, His truth and His insight into our lives. The paths that are outlined in His Word give direction and meaning to our pursuits in life. The ‘fear of God’ described in the Old Testament gives a humble perspective to our relationship to the Creator of the Universe.
Our Lord gives freedom, vision, mercy, compassion, justice, strength in times of weakness, vision to overcome our blindness, companionship for the lonely, a sense of belonging to the stranger, care for the vulnerable, encouragement in times of despair, unconditional Love, boundless hope, a promise of justice and food for the soul. God encourages us to live beyond ourselves, to extend ourselves to others and to exercise our God-given freedom to choose rightly, as Desmond Tutu explains in his book “Made for Goodness”.
Learning to Give Love
Connecting to others broadens your world- for me, trying to be open, to be understanding, to be a listener, and trying to learn about other people’s path through life. This happens in interpersonal relationships with family, friends, co-workers and those whom we encounter in the stores, on the roads and in the neighborhood. It also extends to our communities. Financial distress, physical and mental illness, family conflict, loss of purpose and fear of violence are present in underdeveloped countries and in Howard County. Working in Thailand and in Africa motivated me to take action to break the cycle of hopelessness. My way of trying to make a difference was in assisting at Christ Church Link and in the Susanna Ministry to women prisoners locally and in the Children of Uganda internationally. My involvement opened my heart to our society’s real problems. The gift of time and talent are so important. It’s an investment of self.
Learning to Receive Love
In the last 2 years, I have developed a new insight on acceptance, appreciation, perspective on life’s journey and an incredible feeling of gratitude to friends, total strangers and the unfathomable love of God.
The direction of my live changed. In 2016, I viewed myself as a caretaker of two elderly and spirited Mothers, whose health was declining, but their intellect was intact. Within 10 months, I developed a chronic disease-progressive pulmonary fibrosis, with no possibility for improvement without a lung transplant. I became handicapped and in need of constant care. My loving husband became my constant support both emotionally and physically. He lived his marriage vow “in sickness and in health”, “to have and to hold from this day forward”.
But in addition to my family’s love, I was showered with love from my Church. I was covered by prayer through so many wonderful people in the US and in Uganda. I received continual meals, home visits, cards, notes, phone calls and boundless encouragement. I was offered in person care, when my husband had an appointment. I never felt sidelined, but rather incorporated in the life of the parish.
I also learned about the care of doctors and nurses, from the patient side. We developed a relationship with the oxygen deliveryman, my critical link to survival.
Most importantly, I slowed down and turned my fate over to God. I accepted my new path and tried to stop the need to be in control all the time. God gave me tremendous peace and hope.
I had a major attitude readjustment. Friendships rather than professional achievements meant so much more. I appreciated many of the simple pleasures- a meaningful conversation, a good laugh, a child’s smile or hug, a beautiful sunny day, a peaceful night, a quiet day with a good book, celebrating the change of seasons and decorating for the holidays. My To-Do List was now flexible. I did want to reflect and record my past experiences with different people and places with insights from my travels for my grandchildren. I was immersed in the present.