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Love Is the Everlasting Response

5 August 2022

By Noelle Gaffka of Mount Pleasant, MI, USA

Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”;

Ecclesiastes 12:1

I lay on the floor, looked him in the eyes, and said, “I’m not going to let anything happen to you.” He squeezed his eyes shut and with a grimace said, “Honey, it’s a good thing you keep this floor so clean.” Just moments before, this 87-year-old gym member took a hard fall. We lay there until he was ready to get up.

My relationship with him is not always so cozy. With vastly different political and life views, we often butt heads. To keep peace, I change topics as quickly as they arise. Sometimes he calls out opposing views to the TV if a news channel (not of his choosing) is on. He shares compliments that would have been flattering in his time; I acknowledge the sentiment behind them instead of getting annoyed. At times I walk into my office to avoid conversations.

But none of that mattered. His cry of pain quieted the gym; I sprinted from the other side of the room. I immediately started assessing his injuries for treatment while he tried to shoo me away. His injuries were minor, but his pride stung. Thankfully, he only had bruising and a few scrapes. “I just need to lie here for a moment,” he said. And so, I lay there with him.

We are challenged to break down walls that separate us and respond in ways that boldly express the Worth of All Persons. We must look beyond the sharp layers to the core that resides within us all. We must acknowledge the humanness that can interfere with our need to bond communities together and embrace our humility as the glue that unites us. Even if the other person refuses to let those walls fall, let love be the everlasting response.

Tomorrow, my older member will still drive me up the wall. We will still have deeply opposing views, and he’ll remind me that I could “make a good wife one day.” But we shared a moment lying on the floor together. I cannot snap my fingers and adjust how he sees the world, but I can show him a new colored lens to peer through. And with each new color presented, may he see the complete rainbow.

Prayer Phrase

Lord, give me eyes that see clearly, hands that reach out, a heart full of your love, and feet that will follow anywhere you lead.

Spiritual Practice

Connecting with God as Center

Connect with God through journal writing or contemplation. Open yourself to God’s presence and share what flows from your heart and mind. Your “communication with God” might include thoughts, questions, feelings, needs, artwork, quotes, or scriptures. Or it might take the form of a prayer, psalm, or poem.

What do you experience? Is this an effective way to connect with God? What surprises you? How do you feel God’s love? What deepens or changes in your relationship with God, Christ, Spirit?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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