In the summer of 1999 I heard the hymn. I the Lord of Sea and Sky. I’m sure I had heard it many times before , but this particular time it touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I had just retired from business and wondered, ‘what next’. It didn’t happen overnight but gradually my life became that of caregiver, prayer giver, Elder, and whatever else God laid on my heart to do. It is 2020 and I am still holding His people in my heart. TYG. Happy Sunday.
You wouldn’t think one could write about feeling love just by attending a concert. But I can.
I attended a St. Patrick’s concert on Saturday night and what I saw and heard touched my heart and soul with love.
Two sisters performed Scottish (Scottish not Irish) dancing while their mother explained the origin of the dances. Their younger sister sang to the accompanying guitar of their dad. The only boy in the family was a very helpful stage hand. It was truly a family affair.
There was a violin duet, a bell choir, a harpist, an Electronic Bagpipes player, and a trio of gents who were brilliant in both song and instruments.
A beautiful rendition of “Lots of Ireland in My Soul” was sung by a lady in memory of her husband who had composed both music and words. Two other soloists filled the hall with lovely song, as well.
At the last minute, one of the performers couldn’t make it and the MC stepped in on short notice with a beautiful rendition of “Danny Boy”. He also did a comic take on “Memories” which had the audience laughing.
There was a husband and wife team who moved us all with “It Is Well With My Soul”; he played the piano while his wife played a steel drum and beautifully sang the hymn. And then there was the same young man’s astounding piano performance which had the audience on their feet at the final chord.
My heart was full of love the whole evening and I’ll tell you why. All of these marvelous performers are members and/or adherents of our church; attendees, employees, volunteers, choir members…wonderful people.
Having a peaceful mind is a desired state of being Although there are many things that would try this state of mind, there are also many things to inspire it. Love is one of them; just the thought of love makes for a peaceful mind. For instance, love doesn’t stop at romance if you think about it. Love can be felt for friends, family, acquaintances, pets, nature, food, art, music…you name it.
When love is in our heart there is seldom room for antagonism, meanness, stinginess, jealousy, angst, and many of the other peace-robbing feelings that would inhabit our psyches.
Yes, I know there are various issues to contend with which do not always lend themselves to feelings of love, but showing love in the face of hardships and challenges helps to take away some of the angst in any given situation.
We’ve all seen it in the face of calamities…people showing up in the lives of those whose peace has in some way been stolen from them. That’s a form of love…love for our neighbor whether next door, the next province or state…or even country; like the recent news story of some Canadian air traffic controllers sending pizzas to their American counterparts who are not being paid for their stress inducing jobs of patrolling the skies. Why? Because someone has chosen to think more highly of themselves than their fellow beings…someone who obviously knows nothing of peace-promoting love.
Can love really give a peaceful mind? To me it is so because I love to love and do enjoy a peaceful mind.
This question was asked by Ken Gallinger in his column, Ethically Speaking, in the Toronto Star on November 25th. Ken describes the four kinds of love this way in part:
Eros: a lusty melange of heart and hormones, and highly conditional
Mania: short lived and obsessive (as in “I love chocolate”)
Phileo:this form of love, when expressed between parents and their kids, for example can be quite powerful – but it’s ultimately based on feelings and feelings are forever fragile.
Agape: unconditional love. And Ken describes it this way…Agape is not based on emotion, passion or possession. It is based on conscious decision, a unilateral choice that only the “lover” can make. Agape sounds like this: “No matter what you do, no matter whether I like you or hate you at this particular moment, I will always do what I believe is best for you.” Agape is unconditional love. It is “the love that will not let you go. It can be excruciatingly painful. Agape is tough love, rooted neither in passion nor affection, but rather in sheer determination to do what is just and right; it allows for no conditions. As such Agape is the foundation of every ethical decision, and a thing of great beauty.
Ken’s column is definitely worth the read.
Is unconditional love a myth? I don’t think so. If it was many of us would not experience it in all its beauty and heartache.
Many years ago I had a very vivid dream. I was on the lookout deck of the Toronto Dominion Tower which at that time was the highest building in Toronto. It was at a very trying time in my life and in my dream I was walking alone around the observation deck feeling lost and afraid. Presently, a faceless male figure came alongside me and held my right hand. At his touch, my body tingled from head to toe and I felt it was Jesus by my side.
I awoke, still tingling, feeling less distressed and somewhat comforted. That dream with its surge of feeling has always stayed with me.
Recently I read in Isaiah 41:13 – For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.”
It brought back that dream one hundredfold.
Please forgive me if I have blogged something like this in the past but it just boggles my mind when and how God speaks. Happy Sunday.
Charlie may be a cartoon character but over the years he has displayed the emotions which make us all human. Charlie is beloved because he loves love as much as anyone else, as seen in this final clip. I hope you have enjoyed these few days with Charlie Brown.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
Just like patience, forgiveness, tolerance, and other virtues, humility needs a lot of work. It’s not always easy to put someone else’s feelings ahead of our own, or to stay quiet when we want to correct someone. It’s definitely difficult for some to acknowledge that the creator of the universe is deserving of a bowed knee, and an outstretched hand.
Here are a few quotes on humility:
True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity
There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self. Henri Frederic Amie
It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. Saint Augustine
Self praise is no recommendation. Romanian (on flattery and praise)
Be the change you wish to see in the world. Ghandi
“A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.”Alexander Pope
…but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
And now for a little humble humor from Mac Davis and the Muppets
Just thinking about pleasant things can put a smile on your face…go ahead and try it, especially when feelings of sadness, frustration, loneliness, melancholy, etc., creep up on you. I’m still in smiling mode after finding this picture for my Happy Sunday blog.