Faces on Faith: One day, one person at a time
Torah and Gospel call us to the God-like quality of character that is ours to express in our real-world, every-day, and every-place practice of loving others as we are loved by humanity’s Creator God.
We read in Leviticus 19:18b “Love your neighbor as yourself. I am God.” Jesus once made the point that we fulfill all the expectations God has of us by loving God with all that we are and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves (Matt. 26:36-40).
Reading and thinking about these words I come to understand and am challenged in the knowledge that we are most God-like when we choose to reflect our personal realization of the unconditional love and acceptance of God in our most intimate as well as in all our casual encounters with others.
This transformative and transforming spiritual knowledge is not only found in Hebrew and Christian scriptures, it comes as well from people, of many times and places, who give or have given witness to God’s love for us and for all people through their words, actions and attitudes. Those who have shown us the practice of loving others as God loves us may be as close as family and as distant as those we consider saints both ancient and modern.
When we personally embrace God’s unconditional love and acceptance we discover that this gift is not simply a treasure to be hidden and cherished in the deep recesses of our soul, but a gift to be unequivocally shared in the market places of our living in the real world. Every encounter with another person is an opportunity to love as God loves us to do God’s will on earth as it is done in heaven!
We do this, not just in impressive gestures of charity, but, more often, in unseen expressions – a smile, a handshake, a word of encouragement, a phone call, a card, an embrace, a kind greeting, a gesture of support, a moment of personal attention, a helping hand, an attitude of acceptance, a present, a visit, a promise to pray with and for a friend or stranger, and in all our acts of justice, mercy and kindness.
Loving others as God loves us is a practice we learn to do one day and one person at a time. These words come to mind:
One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all I am asking of you.
Just give me the strength
To do every day what I have to do.
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.