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Inspirational and Uplifting

The Upward Look

Love -- before it's too late

by Mrs. B

Mark 12:30 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart ... soul ... mind ... strength. v3 The second is this "Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than this!"

Several weeks ago Valentine's Day came ... and went! How many expressions of love did you get? Better still, how many expressions of love did you give?  Isn't it easy when someone says to you, "I love you!" to say, "I love you" in return?  It almost pops right out of your mouth before we can stop it.

As we grow, the need for love grows with us.  It is a basic need of life.  So then, why is it not expressed as often as it should be in our homes, work places and out in our communities?  Could it be that we are self-centered a great deal of the time, and it takes a disaster like that in Haiti, to wake us up to the needs of others? 

Maybe it is our attitude!  Love affects our attitude and spills out all around us in positive ways, but a negative attitude spills out too!  It is said, that the number of  people you can hurt, is the exact number of people you can help.  Think on that!  Every day we step into a world of pain and darkness.  Jesus said, "you are the light of the word," and he has put in our heart a gift to do just that.  Then why are so many of us miserable?  If our pain and hurt is so intense, how can we be of help to someone else? 

First of all, we must see the big picture.  Our self-centeredness sees only the struggle within our own little "cocoon."   I remember back when I was going through cancer treatment at a distant hospital.  I was so absorbed in my own pain, that God had to shake me.  He placed as my roommate a woman who was there for cancer treatment too and was a total emotional wreck! Now comes the oxymoron, because of my concern for her and my desire to help her, my days there became easier!  We had joined in spirit to fight our cancer.  Looking back, I can see that our changed attitude even affected the doctors and staff.  Our smiles, compliments, and encouragement helped them in their otherwise very serious and technical tasks.  They would come to our room to visit during their "break time."  God is amazing!  He puts in you exactly what we need to do the job he has for us to do!  Many times God puts us in difficult situations just be an example to others.  Before we were both discharged, the staff know our secret, "The joy of the Lord is our strength."  It was lived out before them, and for me, it was a life changing experience. 

Everyone goes through difficult times.  We don't go over them, around them or under them -- we go through them!  We all need help at times, and we need to give help also.  When I flipped on the TV and first heard of the horrendous and widespread destruction of Port au Prince in Haiti, it was overwhelming!  Where could I help, and what would it matter I asked myself?  Then an old Russian Proverb came to mind.   "If everyone gives a thread, the poorman will have a shirt."  That speaks to me in my situation.  How about you?  In Proverbs 14:31 we read, "He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God." Something to think about!

I live by a railroad track, and railroad tracks have what are called "sidings."  These are tracks built off the main track where boxcars are to be kept until a future date when they are needed.  I have had times in my life when I have been put on a "siding" -- times which seemed useless -- sometimes full of heartache, wasted blocks of time spent in pain and misery.  I realize now, God was working out the plan he had for my life.  All those "siding" experiences were necessary to remove self-centeredness, pride, anger, jealousy, and a host of negative things before I could learn to accept and trust God, develop a concern and love for those around me and spread a blanket of hope over others.

Am I where I should be?   No! -- but neither am I where I used to be, and that gives me hope too.

Right now, in the early months of 2010, do you find yourself on your special "siding?"  Don't despair, God never makes a mistake.  He is never early or late, and soon your master engineer will come and pull you "back on track," and with eagerness you will follow in his tracks.  Remember, sometimes to make another person's day just a little brighter, it may only take a smile or a word of encouragement, or a "Thank you" to someone who has touched your life.  On that note, I'd like to share a poem written by Spencer Michael Free called ---

The Human Touch

This the human touch in the world that counts,
The touch of your hand and mine,
Which mean far more to the fainting heart,
Then shelter and bread and wine.

For shelter is gone when the night is over
and bread lasts only a day.
But the touch of the hand and the
sound of the voice
Sing on in the soul always.

In closing, don't forget that the Divine hand reached down to each one of us and the greatest gift ever given to mankind was given on that Easter so long ago. Receive it and celebrate!

Till next time -- keep looking up,

Mrs. B

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