Wednesday Wondering - October 25, 2023
1John 4: 7 – 12
7Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
I have been thinking a lot about this concept of love lately. I have been thinking about how it seems so challenging in our world to find good things that are going on, and how if we struggle to find those good things how can we every find love in our world today. I am not talking about romantic love, but rather love that comes from consideration, compassion, care, and engagement with those around us, with humanity. I know so many people who have felt the need lately to take a break from news or social media because they feel as if they are being drained both spiritually and emotionally by all of the negativity that seems to running rampant in the world today. What are we to do? How do we live in love in our world today?
I have been given permission to share this little story with you today. This friend of mine got married and had a child later in life and I think in many ways they had resigned themselves to not having any children. So here they are with a little guy who is a sweet little one. Well this is the story that was shared. “This little guy loves to wave. I mean he LOVES to wave……at people, at their pets, at ants on the sidewalk, at trucks, and lately especially at motorcycles. So on our walk today he heard them (motorcycles) coming down the street and turned to wave. There were 3 coming down the street riding towards him. With all his might he was waving as hard as I’ve ever seen him wave and gooing and geeing at them as they passed all 3 of them (prototypical burly bikers dudes) saw him at the same time and all took the time to wave back at him. My boy had the biggest grin on his face I’ve ever seen and for the rest of our walk he was just beaming and grinning ear to ear! It made me think how easy it is these days to get lost in the dissension of everything going on, in the rhetoric, how it’s so easy to ignore, delete, accuse, and ostracize, and in the end how easy it is to do the exact opposite to create joy and happiness with the simplest of acts and create a day of joy just like 3 strangers did for my son with the simplest of gestures….a wave. So thank you kind strangers for giving complete joy to my son with something so simple and to my son for teaching me that the little things can be the greatest.”
The simplest, sometimes the smallest of things can and do bring joy and love to the world. I think that many of us forget that, and yet the wisdom of a child that reminds us that sometimes it is not about trying to fix it all, it is about what we do in this moment, that is what makes a difference to those around us. So we learn to love in the small things, to show care in the small things, to show compassion in the small things and maybe all those small things will eventually add up and it will change the world. Those 3 burly bikers, with a simple wave, changed the day for my little friend. How might we change the day for another in the simplest of acts? Author L.R. Knost states, “Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.” Sometimes it is a simple act of kindness, a simple act of love, that brings light, the helps to fix one small broken piece of this world. Sometimes, these simple acts bring love into the world and we all benefit from that, we all benefit from a world that is more loving, more caring, more compassionate. So let’s live in the love of little things, the love of small gestures and maybe when we live our lives like that we become a symbol for all that we can be.
God of love, you call us to be people of love, to live in love each and every day, but we sometimes don’t know what that means. We so often get overwhelmed with the negativity, the strife, the hatred, the challenges of the world that we lose sight of you and your love. Give us the wisdom to see that love exists in the smallest and simplest of acts. Help us to recognize that every time we offer compassion, care, a smile, a wave, we are offering love to the world. It is in these, seemingly, small acts that love resides. Help us to live each day, each minute looking for ways to show love to those around us, to the world, even if we think that it is too small of an act, it will make a difference. We ask this in the name of Love Incarnate, your son, Jesus. Amen.