Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9
EXTENDING THE BLESSING
I remember the feeling of being picked last for the basketball team in gym in junior high school. I remember the painfully shy and awkward little girl. I remember the feeling of always living in the shadow of a sister who was beautiful, talented and popular. I remember feeling so unsure and lacking confidence and wondering who I really was. Some of those painful wounds are ones I can still feel, if I chose to hang onto that kind of hurt.
But during that time in my life I was closest with my grandmother on my dadís side, Nanny. She was person who influenced my life and my faith most deeply. At that time in my life that was so confusing, I remember a moment we shared on the edge of the ocean during summer vacation. I can still hear her gentle voice, feel her soothing touch she put her arm around me. That day she looked deep into my eyes to tell me how very special I was, how loved I was by her and treasured by God. She talked of the wonderful plans God had for my life and that my beauty that was on the inside was a light to others. Still, when I recall the memory, I know it was a life-changing moment in time for me. I reach back to that day many times to feel the comfort and shelter of Nannyís presence, but more vividly of Godís presence in Nanny. I recall the little girl and the grandmother whose blessing enhanced her life.
I recall those times because I was reminded recently of the knowledge that it truly takes a village to raise children. I am a single mom and though I want to do everything perfectly myself, the reality is that I cannot. I am always amazed at the band of angels God sends to my children and I to show His love, extend his blessing and help grow us in our faith and trust of him.
Last night while watching my sonís baseball game, one of the neighborhood boys who comes to cheer the team, sat with me. I noticed the last few games he was sitting with me instead of the rest of the kids. He talks with me and jokes and asks so many questions about my life, my kids, anything at all. Mark is a great kid from a very difficult family situation. His father has been in jail for dealing drugs and his mom works several jobs to support the family. I told him I enjoyed talking to him and he turned to me with his pierced nose and spiked hair and gave me the biggest smile. He said, ďI wish I had someone to love me the way you love people.Ē It really took me by surprise, but I was able to talk to him about the fact there is all kind of love and it all comes from God and why I believe that. I went home wondering about Mark and praying about him. And I thought about how we all need to receive the blessing of love and acceptance in our lives.
When we know Christ, we must share him. When we have love inside our hearts, it comes from God and we must spread it. When there is one life that is crying out in the dark--one lost soul, we must offer Christ. What we know of our faith, what we know of our God needs to be extended to everyone who is suffering. Every forgotten, lost, wandering soul needs to know the love and forgiveness found in God. We are Godís heart and eyes and ears and hands on earth. When we know God, when know what it is to be loved, maybe we need to look a little harder at ways we can extend the blessing of God and share his love.