Mavis

Earlier this week an elderly friend of mine passed from this life. Mavis wasn’t a close friend and I hadn’t spent a lot of time with her. However, I certainly did consider her a friend, not simply an acquaintance.

Why? Because when I saw her, usually weekly, she greeted me with enthusiasm, a smile and a hug. She enquired about my health, that of my husband, and anything else of pertinence of which she was aware in my life. She listened to me, encouraged me if and when necessary or relevant, and simply added a positive and generous dimension to my life.

As far as I am aware Mavis didn’t reach any public acclaim in her life (but maybe she was too humble to share of long-ago achievements) but she did touch many lives in many ways and most of us, including me, may never, this side of heaven, know of these acts of kindness and generosity.

I will miss my friend and her bubbly, joy-filled face… but I will remember her. Even though our relationship wasn’t long or deep she has left a legacy – a legacy of hope in eternal life. A legacy of a relationship with a very personal friend – Jesus.

Jesus was her constant companion. Someone to turn to in a time of need and someone to share the joys of life with. Mavis was an intercessor, a pray-er. She knew that Jesus was “just a prayer away” and called on him constantly, usually, I believe, on behalf of others. Most of these “others” probably don’t know of and will never be aware of the prayers prayed for them. But I must believe that these prayers made a difference in so many lives… and because of this Mavis’s legacy lives on.

It is always worth considering what sort of legacy each one of us will leave when we are called “home”. Will we be remembered for the successes we achieved financially, academically,  in sport or any number of social or public spheres? Or will our legacy be one of sowing good, joy, comfort, encouragement into people’s lives? How will our children and grandchildren speak of us?  What will friends and even acquaintances say about us?

We may not achieve “great things” (most of us don’t!) but we can still always share encouragement, joy, comfort, peace, love whenever we have the opportunity and leave a lasting legacy…

Love… again

While I’m still working on the topic of “Agape Love” I thought I’d let a little more overflow here… and as I was writing about road rage, while taking a short break, I checked my Facebook page and what popped up but a post by a friend who had just witnessed a case of road rage. How timely was that!!

Maybe you are a “perfect” driver and never make a misdemeanour on the road? Or you’re so well organised that you’re never in a hurry? If so, you’re certainly one in a million!  But I am like most of the rest of us and I’m sure I turn in front of other cars when I’ve mis-judged their speed (occasionally), and sometimes I leave for an appointment just a couple of minutes later than I intended and get annoyed at all the red lights… yes… you too? Okay, if your day has already been “bad”, I understand the frustration is compounded.

BUT… it is NOT the other person’s fault!  Understand that we are all human and we do all make mistakes… Some of our population is older that the rest of us and older folk do lose their ability to react quickly… One day young ones will be “oldies” too!

So, my lesson here… don’t be easily provoked.  It doesn’t do any good to anyone!

And what about our “me first” attitude? From an early age our children are taught to seek the best – for themselves.  Now, that is fine in itself, but is it at the cost of others? Surely the world would be a better place is we put others first preferring the good of others before our own desires.

This begins from a polite “You go ahead” at the supermarket or “Can I help?” Years ago when I often caught a bus we were taught to give our seat to women or older commuters if there were no vacant seats. I wonder how often this is done today?

In my study on love I have found myself wanting in many ways, but as I continue to read and absorb I am very aware of aspects in my life that can show improvement… have I given you food for thought, too?  I certainly hope so!

We can make the world a better place – one step, one action and one day at a time!

Love

I’m taking a break from my “Blogging” today as I have been preparing a talk on “Love” and just feel to share some thoughts here.  Specifically, my talk is about the agape love of God but please don’t stop reading just because you “don’t believe in God” or believe in a different God to me… as an old song sung by Christopher Cross says “love is love in any language”.

But the thing that has struck me as I’ve been reading and meditating and reflecting is that  (and hey! – here’s another song)… “What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love”

(What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.)

I don’t know that there’s “too little of…” but it sure is true that it’s something everyone needs. And not only needs for ourselves but needs to give.

My study has focussed on the “love”chapter in the Bible – 1 Corinthians 13.  Many of you will have heard that read at weddings, or maybe even had it read at you own wedding.  Unfortunately, often at times like that, it’s just words. But when we take note of those words, what a powerful difference it could make in our lives and those of folk we know, work with, love, or even just meet at the supermarket.

I love the concept of “paying it forward” where one good deed is passed on to the next person and that recipient then passes it on and this continues (forever would be lovely!). What do you think stops the “paying it forward”? Selfishness? “I can’t afford to pay for the next person’s coffee…” “I haven’t got the resources/time/money to help…”?? Don’t let that stop you… share a little bit of generosity with someone real soon!

One aspect that “kills” love is the way we tend to keep a record of wrongs.  “But I emptied the dishwasher last time…. “; “It’s her turn to set the table…” Familiar comments from your children? And these sentiments continue into adulthood.  Okay, I understand that sharing is great, especially sharing of mundane tasks, but imagine if children could be taught that it is wonderful to serve even in the mundane things no matter how many times siblings have or have not also done so.

One final aspect of “love” I want to share today is how the media (and so frequently us) tend to “celebrate” the sins or downfall of others.  For some reason we get excited when we hear of the latest scandal amongst celebrities or politicians. The public buy magazines to see photos of their “idols” or “heroes” caught out by the paparazzi. Why? Because if we can be disgusted by famous figures we feel morally superior. If they are so bad, we can’t be…

So to sum it up …

  1. Look for the good in others and help whenever possible… “Can I take a photo of all of you?” when the person behind the lens is being excluded.
  2. Be polite…”You go first…” We all learnt as children that pushing in was rude.
  3. Help… “Let me do that…” no matter how many times you have done it previously.
  4. Don’t listen to gossip, no matter how spectacular … or go a bit further and pray for the “sinner”… Not one of us is perfect!

One little act at a time … wouldn’t it be wonderful to overcome the hatred that exists today by sharing a little love each and every day??