Give me more opportunities to love.
December 3, 2016
That is my prayer every day. It’s not to find more reasons to love, but more occasions to love. And without condition. I’ll admit I’m not always successful. Still, making the effort keeps me pointed in the right direction.
Jesus said that anyone can love those that love them – that’s easy. (Luke 6:32) But he asked us to love everyone. And that would be how others would know we were his followers – because of our willingness and followthrough on loving all. (John 13:35)
The Master saw his fellow man as beloved and necessary parts of God’s creation. They weren’t good and bad, deserving and unworthy, keepers and tossers. Instead, Jesus understood that all, every man, woman, and child, were created in his heavenly Father’s image and likeness, in the likeness of divine Love. It was this understanding that enabled him to heal the sick, cast out sin, and raise the dead.
Looking for more opportunities to love – especially those who are different than us, or who disagree with us – ultimately opens the door to finding things that we have in common. And there are so many when we take the time to look for them. And that’s the point.
Is it easy? No. My prayer often includes asking for help in doing it: help to be willing, help to be consistent, help to be sincere, and to be effective. Because love at its most effective is selfless. That kind of love blesses all without regard to circumstances or participants.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote a wonderful treatise on love (Miscellaneous Writings, page 249). I’ve excerpted a part here: “Love is not something put upon a shelf, to be taken down on rare occasions with sugar-tongs and laid on a rose-leaf. I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast aside the word as a sham and counterfeit, having no ring of the true metal. Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power. As a human quality, the glorious significance of affection is more than words: it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent, ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows; the veiled form stealing on an errand of mercy, out of a side door; the little feet tripping along the sidewalk; the gentle hand opening the door that turns toward want and woe, sickness and sorrow, and thus lighting the dark places of earth.”
May your day be filled with giving – and receiving – love in all directions.
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.