Friday, September 3, 2010

The Feel of Love

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
~Leo F. Buscaglia

Why can't we be more like the flowers of the field? Gently blowing and rubbing upon one another throughout each day.  Instead, we sometimes turn ourselves off to a loving touch, pat on the back, warm hug, and light kiss.  Why do we put up barriers?

I think of Linus in the Peanuts comic strip..he said something like this, "I love mankind! It's the people I can't stand!" Generally, it is easy to love the people I husband, my children, my closest friends. Other times, it is not can feel like a burden. Without a second thought, we shut the door without a look back. 

And, what about the people that have been placed in our lives?  How do we treat them?  Our family...our root system that ties us to this world.  There are times, when we take our mothers, our fathers, our sisters and brothers for granted.  Not thinking twice about how much love we have in our heart for these precious souls. What does this say about who we are and who we follow?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Boy, is that Bible quote familiar!  It takes me back to my own wedding day, June 13, 1998.  There aren't many weddings that I've been to that I haven't heard how love is patient and kind. But, is it??  Take a moment...think about the last time you lost your temper...who did you fuss at??  Was it someone you love?  I know it was for me.  So, really how patient and kind is my love? 
Some people feel of the soft feathers of my down comforter.  Always willing to embrace me just as I would wrap this warm blanket about me on a dark, dreary winter morning.  Yet, we all know those people that are made to feel like sandpaper, gritty and abrasive on the outside.  These differences vary greatly throughout our world form one person to another.  While we think we always know what to expect on the outside when we encounter our neighbor, our friend, our child's teacher, our members of our family, we don't always know about what these people are facing on the inside.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Each person is carrying their own burdens in this world.  When I was a teacher, I had to remind myself daily that I was not aware of the environment that my students were leaving each morning.  What might appear one way on the outside was not always the case.  Therefore, through love and kindness, I could give my boys and girls a soft place to fall.  They could expect kindness from me each day.  It was my job to follow through with the delivery of love.

I reminded myself that a singular touch or kind word can make all the difference to someone at the bottom of the valley.  Even though some days are bad hair days, every day can be a day of giving from the heart. The gifts that I share do not have to be monumental, the smallest act of caring will do.  Rarely do any of us come out of the valley of despair and travel to the peak of success all alone. There is generally someone that has helped to guide us along this path to prosperity.

All four of my children have been delivered by cesarean sections. With each surgery, I am more and more aware that something could go wrong. This last February, I was unable to mentally be a part of my son's delivery because I was steeped in prayer during the entire procedure. It was a simple touch on the forehead from my husband that nudged me back to be able to focus upon the monumental moment in the life of our family. This gentle stroke was a true gift to me in a time of great blackness.

How many times do I walk past the stressed mother in Publix to reach for my own groceries without a smile to share?  For, I know what it is like to have a child throw a tantrum at the end of a long day.  Why do I complain about my children to someone who is having a hard time with her own fertility?  I don't take the time to think about how her heart is aching for one day with a child of her own. 

Today marks a day when I will think of that golden rule...treating another as I would like to be treated.  Today, my love for another will bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.  What about you?  Can you do the same??

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