It’s Sunday again—the day ordained to rest, the day we take to contemplate faith, hope, love. Even if you’re not a Christian, most “good” people stop and consider the hope and love aspects. I don’t know how to approach these three words from anything but a Christian perspective. I make no apologies for my chosen faith—not only was I raised to be a Christian, but I embrace the theology on the deepest level I am capable of delving as an adult. I believe that popular culture tends to label Christians as anything but deep thinkers. Perhaps they should look again, but part of this misconception is the fault of Christians themselves. Too many of us come face-to-face with acceptance of faith and stop there. I am convinced that those people are missing the boat, or a better metaphor would be that they’re putting one foot in the boat and expecting to sail. Maybe they do adopt hope as well and try to move forward, meaning that they have the faith and hope like … (um)… heck that all goes well from there.
Then we come to that overused, abused, misunderstood word: love.
This is where “religion” goes awry and pop culture helps it down the wrong road.
Love is not a noun.
It’s not a soft, gooshy marshmallow thing or a gift that’s been wrapped in iridescence and delivered with angels’ wings.
It’s not a sensation in your body or an obsession that stops you from eating, sleeping and breathing normally.
Love is a verb.
It is an overt, big screen, in-your-face action that is the best synonym I know for give.
Love = Give
Where a human is involved, every shade of the word, every verb phrase or idiom using “give” starts and ends with an act of love. Consider:
Following are a list of synonyms for the word give.
Please give a few moments of your time and contemplate how much you have chosen to love in this way recently, or better how much you’re willing to give in the future. Will you:
Yeild (your selfish way).
Here is a list of the most creative charities I’ve encountered (check them out!):
(And don’t forget BOOTS*TO*FILL if you’re looking for a venue for a fundraiser)
It’s awesome to be able to lend a hand in a unique way. Nothing makes you feel better than knowing you’ve made a difference out there in the big, wide world.
But, I think that it’s often easier to give “charity” in dollars and cents to perfect strangers than it is to lend time/effort to those we know.
In 1642, Sir Thomas Browne said, “Charity begins at home.”
Browne was a polymath (an expert in many fields), and much of what he wrote is considered universal and brilliant. I’m not a student of Browne, but I’m sure he got this point right. It’s most challenging to give back, give in, give way under our own roof and to our own blood or spouse or in-laws… even our very closest day-in/day-out friends and co-workers. The fact remains, these people are the ones that call us to make love a verb.
Those close to us demand the most, and it is to them we must commit to giving on the first level demanded by Christ and every other founder of any religion described in Wikipedia. And if you’re not religious (a word I myself dislike based on the twisted interpretation of it over the centuries), just being a responsible citizen asks that you give to others, and again, that should start with those closest to you.
Although it’s not a particularly positive take on humanity, one of the best motivators to make the act of giving a priority is the sad result of what happens when we don’t. Check out Blake Shelton’s lyric: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dIPx7cUHuY
***Bottom line: look for your opps to give to those nearby.
Practice the art of giving…
and once you’ve mastered it on the home front:
take on rest of the world.
Don’t put it off or push the urge away.
You don’t want to wake up one morning asking yourself what you wouldn’t give to go back and
… the way you should have the first time around.