When I was in Germany in 2014, I discovered how much my two German friends loved bears. I thought of them when I saw this bear at the Ice Show the other night. I find myself remembering many life events these days in a state of deep reflection. I am so very grateful for love…and how it bears all things.
One of the challenging aspects of this time has been becoming aware of how my life has impacted people. My inbox has been flooded with words of love and admiration. Hugs and kind words spill forth from people when they see me. I am more than a little overwhelmed by it. When I first became sick I had this flashback to the opening scene of It’s a Wonderful Life, where all the prayers are being lifted up for George Bailey. This past week or so, the movie has taken on another likeness to my story. I am struck by how despite all my failings in life, people have learned to bear with me, and to love me anyway, just like George. The messages are beautiful. People are now much freer to say I love you than ever before. I have always known that I was loved but now I see more clearly how my actions and words have impacted people in positive ways.
The temptation might be to not look at how I have negatively effected people but for now I will savour the goodness that people are sharing with me. Some of it is news to me. We sometimes have no idea how what we say or what we do impacts people, just like George Bailey. The joy is that I too can remember and share my memories of how people have blessed me and led me down a path that has changed me. If we live well, the giving and taking is an endless revolving door that moves in both directions.
In Lent, we can give up things, but alternatively we can take up actions. Maybe this Lent which begins on Wednesday we might take up the opportunities that present themselves to tell someone how much of a blessing that person has been in our lives. We might give up the fear that prevents us from doing that before it is too late. Wouldn’t it be more life-changing to tell someone I love you than it would to give up sweets? I would guess that both of those will instill panic in most people’s hearts but one is more Kingdom work than the other.
Let’s bear our souls a little this Lent and show how much God loves the world by our own loving of one another.
Who in your life do you need to tell that they have been a blessing?
Remember a time when someone let you know that you had impacted them in a positive way. What surprised you about this insight?
Bearer of Love, you scatter all around us petals of a flower so fragrant that we are intoxicated by its aroma. Help us to share our hearts vulnerably in order to be a blessing to others and to receive the blessings offered. Dispel the fears that prevent us from being honest about our feelings. Amen.