Isn’t this just so SPOT ON?
Loving God. Loving others. The two greatest commandments spoken by Jesus Himself. We all know this.
How does this play out in real life?
Sometimes I wonder how I can make a difference, with my small little life. I’m not in service or out on the mission field. I am so much more tied down than I used to be, with a house, husband, and child to take care of. I don’t have a job, so I’m not interacting with the community as much anymore. The circumstances I find myself in have changed, but this does not give me an excuse to not love. There is always someone around me to love and give to.
This is something I’ve thought about and pondered for years. The art of loving. Obviously this is going to look differently for different people. We have different gifts, talents, and abilities. We are all unique! In my own journey of discovering how to love others, I’d like to share a few ideas with you. A few small things that I have started doing or learned from others along the way. Maybe something will trigger an idea for you.
First, I think it’s important to let the Holy Spirit guide us. He ultimately knows the needs of others around us — far beyond what we can know in our finite minds. I have found that the people the Spirit brings to mind, are often the people who really needed love and care at that time. If you don’t know who to reach out to — ask God. He’ll show you.
Second, learn to observe and notice. Usually it’s not hard to pick up little clues from people. For example, if the neighbor lady comments that the applesauce I gave them tasted just like their mom’s from years ago, do a little extra when you’re canning and give them a few jars. Notice people’s needs around you.
Third, find ways to use your unique gifts to bless people. If you like to garden, give extra produce to neighbors or church friends. Like to play the piano? Play in a nursing home on Sunday afternoon. Love to cook? Bless an over-whelmed mom with a freezer meal. Enjoy hospitality? Invite a young couple over for supper. There are myriads of ways to use your talents to bless others.
And remember, it doesn’t need to be grand and glorious. Something small can mean just as much to someone!I don’t feel like I have had a lot of time this summer to devote to physically helping others around me. Summertime is fairly demanding when it comes to garden work and my mother-in-law’s surgery really filled up summer so fast! I get overwhelmed with my own work, and can’t very easily desert it right now. One small way I’ve been cultivating friendships has been through the mail. Everyone likes mail, right? I’ve started making my own cards and sending random friends a note + summery recipe. It’s a simple, small way to brighten someone’s day. :)
How about you? What small ways do you find to love others around you?
:::Coming up next in the Art of Loving: How to Love Your Pregnant Friend:::