“Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should do also do’” – John 13:12-15
From the Last Supper, to the denial of the denials to come, to betrayal, to washing of feet, to the Garden of Gethsemane, awaiting for the suffering to begin, Jesus models the way for us.
Who wants to take that journey? To take up crosses, none like the Cross, but burdens the same. To wash feet of others. To love amidst hate and fear. A journey to run from, avoid, look for a short cut. There’s got to be another way. And yet, this is the only way. We do not go alone. He has gone before and carries our crosses for us if we allow right in this very moment, in the past and in the future.
When all of the other paths and models we follow lead to dead ends, again and again, return to this place to rest in love. That’s the story of the Cross. Love that transcends and transforms.
“From a little spark may burst a flame.” – Dante Alighieri
“All thoughts, all passions, all delights Whatever stirs this mortal frame All are but ministers of Love And feed His sacred flame.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
When your light within is dim or distinguished, do not go into mere acceptance of the inevitable. Fight. Rekindle and spark the flame. The world will not reignite your internal light so stop going to that dry well. Feed, foster and fan your internal flame to go from darkness to light.
Quiet reflection, prayer, reading, trust, hope, optimism, empathy, compassion, gratitude, joy, generosity are fire-starters. Take an active role in your thoughts and actions and do not succumb to worry, consternation, complaint, fear, judgment.
Choose love, especially when it doesn’t make sense. Starting with yourself first and then moving into the world. Reignite your light so you can cast it into the world which is in desperate need of it right now.
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Albert Schweitzer
“You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.” – Maya Angelou
“Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.” – Maya Angelou
May we all be blessed enough to catch the virus of love. To never succumb to the darkness. To seize the light and ensure that we cast the light broad and deep to cultivate hope, joy and peace. That is the only worthy thing to cling to, to aspire to, to work for. Be kind. Change hearts, change the world.
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou
“In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare. Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced.” – Robert Sexton
53 years ago today, my parents were married. They are a model of love and commitment through 12 years of night school while working full time to get a college degree, raising three (pretty awesome) kids, three (pretty awesome) grandchildren, two knee replacements, a broken hip, cancer, and daily challenges of life.
Some of the many lessons that I’ve learned from them include:
Faith will get you through everytime;
The value of hard work;
Don’t take the gifts you’ve been given for granted;
The importance of laughter;
Discipline produces results;
The satisfaction from giving your all, regardless of the results;
Ask for forgiveness and mean it;
There’s nothing better than a good polka;
Respect others and yourself;
Pay your bills on time and don’t get over your head in debt;
Life isn’t fair, so what, do what you can with what you have without complaint;
You can be both family and friends;
Give without counting;
Character is more important than personality;
Life is short, so appreciate each day.
They’ve taught these lessons not in words but in living them everyday. Thanks Mom and Dad for the many gifts, blessings and lessons. Happy Anniversary.
Dinner with friends
Washing their feet to model service and love
Betrayed by a kiss
Denied three times by His best friend
Alienation, rejection, desertion
Excrutiating, indescribable, painful, slow death
In our struggles, crosses, pain, we are never alone. Never.