How do you think we should show our love for others? In this prayer I share some of my thoughts of lessons learned from my own life.
Almighty God, in this world of growing darkness where terrorism encroaches upon our lives help us to be lights of love to one another. We cannot, we must not let the dark and depraved things of this world keep us from focusing on those things that are pure, lovely and fill us with joy unspeakable. In that gentle touch to those who accept it, a smile, our life, one heart giving to another, those we know and the complete stranger, we send a message that neither the terrorism in France, The Middle East or anywhere can defeat. We say that we will continue to be people of love. We say that the messengers of hate, inequality and indifference will not win. We say that where there is love, where we think more of others than ourselves, that all hope for this world has not been lost.
Hope sings a song in people’s hearts. Hope gets us out of bed one more day to face its challenges, stresses and times of abounding peace and exuberant joy. Hope rings whether it is in the wealth of Wall Street or in the growing poverty of Africa or the developing countries.
Poverty lives in the lives of many of the rich who value it above the life they have, who think that their wealth gives them an endless lease upon life, who spend so little time with their family climbing the corporate ladder of success. Yet, in the lives of many poor in service to You in family services, as a missionary, pastor, teacher and professor I have seen hope that has not yet died, that lives because there are those who have not forgotten how to love them, how to hear their pain and act upon it with their practical help and their prayers, with the food that feeds their starving bodies and warms their suffering hearts.
Lord, I have seen a former millionaire cry because he felt a poverty in his soul. He possessed yachts, homes, a large bank account. He lost it all because he lacked one thing all the money in the world could not give him – love. He described it as lust bought and paid for with a night’s temporal pleasure, fleeting, hollow, empty. He sunk into a dirty, dark and defeating world of drug and alcohol addiction. He robbed and begged, sold his soul for a quick fix. As You called me with a team of others to lead him to Christ we saw a shining light of joy infill him. Not joy for material things, but rather an inner peace that eluded him for well over 40 years. They were like the forty years of wandering of Moses as he sought to discover who he was and the calling You had upon his life. That night this lonely man entered into a new relationship filled with the craving for You and Your people, filled with that light of love the darkness cannot stand against because Your love fills us with a joy that cannot be defined. It would be like trying to define what makes a rose so beautiful or to say what made Pavarotti a great tenor. It would be like trying to describe what puts such passion, depth and grace into the voice of Susan Boyle or to say what makes the voice of Josh Groban so appealing or to describe the sweet serenity that infills me listening to the songs of John Michael Talbot or to describe the beauty of the voice of Charlotte Church.
Save us from the harping criticism which divides us in community, the Church and in the government. Let political parties work together for the good of others, end words of division and be united in a purpose that shows itself in legislation passed for the good of all citizens, not for the sake of success at all costs where one’s identity is lost in pieces a little at a time as the line between representing their constituents becomes blurred by the seductive pursuit of power, of compromise upon compromise of one’s own ethics until their true self becomes impossible to see.
Let us firmly resolve in our hearts that one poor person in this world is one too many. While we may never get to that ideal reality where no one is poor, let us never sacrifice that goal saying it cannot happen, so why bother? If we are to be ambassadors of love in this growing cancerous sea of hate we must always be there with our love, prayers and those outstretched arms of compassion that will not stop loving, not stop feeding hunger of body, mind and sprit.
Help us, oh God, to take time to laugh, to share in the joy of those we love. Like I say at every opportunity to my wife, Karen, it is my prayer that every husband truly in love with his wife would say to her, “Darling, I not only love you; I adore you. You are the second greatest joy of my life next to God. You are the sun in my day and the moon in my night. I am incomplete with you.”
Let us all each day make it our new year’s resolution to try to be a little more kinder, a little more loving, a little more understanding, a little more tolerant. That is a promise that is far easier to keep than those resolutions that make us feel like a failure, that last for a brief time and fade as each day it becomes harder to go on a diet or stop smoking. These goals of living healthier and having a more balanced life should be the pursuit of all of us. Perhaps, if we resolve to be better people the hoped promise of being healthier will be realized as love given is returned, as a growing sense of who we truly are in You becomes shown more, felt more with every breath we breathe, every day we live.
Father, these are the thoughts You moved upon my heart today to share. Let them sink into each person in the way that You want. Let us always be lights of love to one another.
Kevin Osborne, B.Th. with honours, D.D., D. Sc., Diplomate in Creative Ministry, is training to be a Christian psychotherapist through St. James the Elder Theological Seminary. He will be a Master of Divinity student at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. He will soon be opening a Christian counselling practice called You Can Hope Again with his wife, Karen, who is an M. Div. student at Trinity College. He is a member of The Word Guild, a Christian writer’s group in Canada. We are available to go where God sends us to do His will preaching, teaching, singing, giving marriage enrichment seminars or however needed. You can reach me at my email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a Son-filled life!