Good Morning, God!
My brother sent this glorious photo of one of his trees. And just that day I was pondering I John 4:20, which asks: How can you love God, whom you have not seen, when you do not love your brother, whom you have seen?
Fortunately, my brother is very easy to love, God. But, I take the meaning of the verse even if it is often easier to love out-of-sight people than up-close-and-daily people. Still, the command is clear. And the solution is in the previous verse: “We love, because He first loved us.”
Sigh. The difficulty isn’t only in the loving but in the definition of LOVE. Children seem to define being loved as “getting what I want.” That definition is hard to shake. Later on we gradually broaden it to politeness, small acts of kindness, and donations to food banks and Salvation Army kettles.
Loving others usually involves the Gift of Things — or in this season, cards. Both are indications of love, or at least of “being thought of.” At this point in life, “stuff” doesn’t hold that much appeal for me. But, I value time with loved ones more and more.
For me, God, since we are to love others AS WE LOVE OURSELVES, the question is, how are we to LOVE OURSELVES? I’ve been mulling this over. Loving myself is finally beginning to mean developing habits of personal care: watching my posture, choosing wisely what and when I eat, getting enough sleep, enough exercise . . . and so on.
With Your Help, God, I’m even creeping toward appreciating the gifts of “doing without.” Going off to the Snowmass Retreat Center was giving myself the “gift of silence” — the “gift of emptying my days and my heart.” Please, God, help me do that At Home.