And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Those of you who read my last post, "Name It to Claim It," know that my defining word for 2013 is "love." Since choosing this word or, to be more precise, since it chose me, my world has taken on more light. Everything and everyone around me, it seems, vibrate with more color, more warmth, more vivacity.
How powerful it is to wake in the morning and invite love into my day. To walk with me in every moment. To open my eyes to opportunities to show it to others, even if it manifests in the smallest of gestures.
Just the other day, such an opportunity opens up. I have dropped my mother-in-law back at her house after taking her to the doctor. It is past lunchtime. Way past. My stomach is rumbling, and I'm beginning to feel cranky and irritable.
I am not a pleasant person to be around when I'm overly hungry. Stay out of my way. Don't tread on me. And, no one gets hurt.
Never having heard of any botulism cases attributed to the Quick Trip convenience store chain, I whirl into the parking lot, leap out of the car, and make a bee-line for the door.
The place is hopping! People are milling everywhere! The two clerks at the counter work feverishly to attend to customers' purchases. Great! Just great! Now, I have to stand in line.
I weave my way to the sandwich cooler, grab an innocuous looking turkey and Swiss, and, throwing caution to the wind, nab a sack of fatty, salty Lay's potato chips. Who cares? I'm starving! I'll work out tomorrow. Just this once won't matter . . .
And, I enter one of the two lengthy lines; so long, that the view of other patrons is obscured by store shelves. When I emerge from behind the wall, it's difficult to assess which one of us is truly the next one to be served.
I see a thirty-something man in white dress shirt and tie juggling several items in his arms. His body language speaks volumes. He is in a hurry. Maybe running late to get back to the office? He's too young to look that frazzled.
Our eyes meet. And, as they do, that word "love" bursts into my mind like Fourth of July fireworks. I forget how hungry I am.
I smile and nod for him to go first. The relief on his face is immediate as he bounds to the counter, glad to deposit the many items he has been carrying.
As he reaches for his wallet, the young man turns around, a huge grin on his face. "Thank you so much!"
"Don't mention it," I reply, returning the grin in kind.
And, a simple sandwich and chips never tasted better . . .
How is the word you've chosen to define your year working for you?
Will you join me in prayer?
Thank You, Father, for Your unfailing love for us and for teaching us to love as You love. May we always treasure love as the greatest gift of all. Amen.