Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Greatest of These . . .


Corinthians 13:13
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.

32 comments:

  1. Sweet one. Although I would Ideally want to say HOPE as the defining word of the year, what I planned is MONEY

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Jerly!
      Glad you enjoyed the post. Can't guarantee the money, but you can always hope! :)
      Blessings and love!

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  2. How beautiful Martha! It's times like these that make it all worth it, isn't it? And usually when you least expect it. Who knows why this young man seemed so frazzled, but your expression of love and kindness may have touched his heart in a way you will never know. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Mary!
      Yes, the moment was so unexpected, but the opportunity to show kindness was great. God is so good!
      Blessings and love!

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  3. What a delicious sandwich! That sounds like it could have been me in a hurry. I of courese refuse to take carts!! :)

    Giving is the word of 2012 and so far so good. Practicing everyday acts of this word and so far, so good.

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    1. So glad you stopped in, Vishnu, and gave some of your time here! :)
      And, yes, the sandwich was better than I expected and all made for a wonderful day.
      Blessings to you!

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  4. Martha, I can't think of a better word to center the New Year around! I've always loved the word "faith." To me, faith is what keeps me going. When things get bleak, faith holds me and offers the comfort that God has a plan. This was such a lovely post! Filled with love! Happy New Year! :)

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by today, Bella!
      Faith is a grand word, too, and can truly pull us through the toughest of times.
      So glad you enjoyed the post!
      Blessings to you and Happy New Year!

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  5. Dear Martha,

    I think I heard a different voice from you in this post -- wonderfully cranky! Truly, I love it ;-) Beautiful, inspiring message, too!

    How are my words working? I chose two: Expansion & Order...

    One of my adventures for the New Year is to work my way through The Artist's Way with a friend for the first time in many years. She lives across the world from me and this is a step toward greater intimacy with her and with my creativity. All of that feels very 'expansive' to me.

    As far as 'order' is concerned, I'm still smiling at the synchronicity of reading the author's 'interpretation' of God: "good orderly direction" ;-)

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Linda!
      Yes, I can get out-of-sorts at times - I'm only human. LOL!
      I love the words you chose for your year - all sounds so promising and an opportunity for spiritual growth. I'll be looking forward to reading your future reflections about this journey.
      Blessings always!

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  6. "How powerful it is to wake in the morning and invite love into my day."

    Powerful indeed...may we all follow that great example! Thanks Sister!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jay, for coming by today!
      Love IS such a powerful word - commanding! Glad you enjoyed this reflection, my friend.
      Blessings always!

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  7. I agree that love is what it's all about. That is the foundation for all the good works that God wants us to do.

    Very nice post!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Jennifer!
      Yes, love does make the world go round, and all our good works for God's sake begins with love.
      Blessings always!

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  8. what a beautiful word! and what a simple gesture can mean.
    yes, the greatest is love..it is all there is in heaven..even faith and hope are no longer needed.
    this yr I am choosing thankfulness. I would have been thankful if you let me go ahead of you..smiles.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Annmarie!
      I love your word "thankfulness" - in all things, we should have a Gratitude Attitude. :) As love does, being thankful puts us in in the presence of God.
      Blessings to you!

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  9. Since I have been remiss about visiting posts, I did not see your last one, or if I did my memory has placed it in an inaccessible file somewhere. I would have to say my word for the remainder of my life is LOVE. The example you gave is exactly why. Besides, showing genuine love brings forth all the other virtues we strive for ,(or at least I do), with love comes gratitude, forgiveness, empathy, strength, courage, and acceptance to name a few. In living with love, you become open to many opportunities to be given love. I LOVED this post. Jan <3

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jan!
      Wow! I love (there's that word again!) your comment! You are absolutely right - when love comes first, everything else good and glorious seems to follow.
      Blessings always!

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  10. Moments like that ARE quite delicious! Great story. :)

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    1. Yes! Delicious moments - love your description, Rachel! Thanks so much for visiting today!
      Blessings always!

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  11. I hadn't found a word until reading this post this morning. Serenity washed over me as I read through your story, I felt the hunger, the agitation, then I saw the guy and felt the way he did - as we all have at once, and then like you, realized what's this madness about. That's my word for the year - thank you for helping me pinpoint it. Hugs, Martha. I needed to land one.

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    1. Oh, wow, Brenda - I'm floored that this post gave you your word for the year! Thanks, too, for your kind words; we writers can always use that pat on the back, can't we?
      Blessings to you and thanks for coming by!

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  12. What's great about the whole one-word idea is that almost any situation becomes a laboratory and an opportunity. What does "love" look like here? In my case, what does "lean" look like in this situation? The key is finding ways to keep the idea in front of us - especially in our HALT situations (hungry, angry, lonely, tired).

    You just shared an amazing illustration of what that looks like. Thanks, friend!

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    1. Andy, thanks for dropping by and leaving this wonderful comment/observation. It is so important to keep that word we have chosen upfront and visible in our minds as we go through the day. And, depending on the situation, it will take on many different meanings and affirmations.
      Keep leaning on the Lord's love, my friend!
      Blessings always!

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  13. Not everyone is as considerate as you are...Good you are spreading the love around.

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    1. Janu, I must confess that there are times I certainly don't feel like being considerate, but keeping this word, as I told Andy, upfront and visible in our thoughts does go a long, long way to accomplishing the goal which is, of course, sharing the love.
      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Blessings always!

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  14. How lovely Martha. You probably made his day. Blessings to you.

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    1. I do hope I did, Suzy! Thanks for coming by!
      Blessings always!

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  15. AMEN <3

    I truly want this prayer to remain in my heart forever :)

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Me! Glad the prayer was special for you . . .
      Blessings always!

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  16. I read that post and I'm glad you made me reflect on the 'one' word that describes us this year. It's like a bell that rings everytime it's needed... a soft voice... a loud cry.. and I'm loving it.

    Kind deeds and simple acts of love become spontaneous :) and forgetting our own needs, well, it takes a lot of loving to do that. I want to hug you because it's something that couldn't be taught... When I think of you, I also think of the kids...oh how I wish, their hearts could understand these wonders...but I'll wait for them to grow.

    I pray with you.

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    1. So touched by your kind words here, Melissa . . . yes, love must be shown; it can't be taught. And, one day, I know those precious kids you serve with love will have those loving hearts God wants them to have.
      Thank you, as always, for coming by and for sharing the prayer. It means so much!
      Blessings and love in this year of love!

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