Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers!
Today it's sunny but cold. Still, it is a manageable Wednesday. May we have a few minutes in our busy day to take time and know that God is present.
Jesus said, "If one of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest." from Matthew's gospel, chapter 20, verse 26.
Reading this passage this morning got me thinking a little like this...
Picture this: A society where newspapers abound with headlines that read: "Local man donates 8 hours of his weekly time to area Soup Kitchen," or, "Young girl writes letters to troops overseas," or "Retired woman, after husband dies, spends her days praying for those in need and volunteering at nursing home."
These not-so-random acts of kindness happen every day. There are people among us who give their time and effort to just, life-giving causes because they love their neighbor. If we come to find God in all things, all people (or at least strive for such), we can give freely of ourselves to anyone at anytime.
We have to be rebels with a cause, servants of the poor, the poor in spirit and all in need. We have to care for ourselves insofar as we have the strength to, in turn, care for others.
More often than not (and I may be climbing a worn soapbox here), our media sells the story that is the most controversial, most news worthy. What makes news? On occasion, it is the charitable giving of one person to another. For instance, Mother Theresa, in all her giving glory, became a person the media loved because people aspired to be like her and learn how or why she gave and gave. But, using the same woman as an example, it was also newsworthy when the public found out Mother Theresa seriously struggled spiritually---I recall hearing about her recently published journal excerpts that show a person who is not always so sure of herself and her own faith---a person constantly asking questions.
But her questions brought her---rather, called her---to a life of greater service. She became a servant because she found that the way to find true love was to see God in her neighbor. Everyone she helped was a child of God, the face of her Lord.
The media can be a place where stories are published that make us understand the potential good in each and every person on this planet. But more often than not, we read tragic accounts of people gone bad, students turned criminals, husbands turned abusers, daughters turned abandoning mothers.
However, there is hope. There are stories of people who even at an early age feel called to be a servant of sorts for their sisters and brothers. I think of a young girl at All Saints in Milwaukee, the church I spent my summer working and living at. She was 12 years old and she was setting up a fund that would help children in East Africa afford school. Having parents who had moved over to the states only several years ago, she felt compelled to give to her peers who weren't being provided the same educational opportunities as her. Opportunities that, as a person her age, I took for granted. Opportunities that you might have taken for granted as well.
She is being a servant. She deserves to make headline news. Her charity is a sign of hope, a message that there is light in this world. She shines on and her Christian example makes me proud to be striving to be a servant like her.
John Lennon wrote a song called "A Day in the Life." The opening lyric, you might remember, went like this..."I read the news today, oh boy..."
What if we could sing, "I read the news today, what joy!"
There is good news out there. We must search for it and once found proclaim it to the world.
I invite you to seek the Good News and to cultivate how it can move and shake you to be a servant for others.
peace and with love,
your friend bob : )