This guest post was written by a dear friend and ministry partner of mine, Brenda McClure. She’s agreed to come alongside me this year and regularly write guest posts for us! Isn’t that awesome? Did you know you could guest post, too? If you have an idea or would like to submit a post, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rarely does a day go by that I don’t think about Mammow. This time of the year she is even more a part of my thoughts and day dreams. Our birthdays are 4 days apart. I spent a lot of time with her every summer when I was young.
She taught me many things, but the most important lesson she ever gave me was on Love. It wasn’t one moment or one event or one day or even one week….it was a continual lesson that spanned all of our time together. She showed me love of God, love of art, love of life, love of people, but most importantly, she showed me love of self.
“Brenda, if you will lie, you will steal. If you will steal, you will kill. If you lie and no one finds out, you still know. If you steal and no one finds out, you still know. If you kill and no one finds out, you still know.”
She would often point out someone picking up a piece of trash and throwing it away and then say,
“Brenda, they did it because it was the right thing to do. They won’t get an award for it, but they may have saved someone from tripping on it and falling…..”
…her story would go on to be funny and ridiculous, but it had a great point. Picking up that piece of trash could have stopped a city wide electric failure because someone didn’t hit an electric pole while on the way to the hospital to see a loved one after falling at the grocery store on a plastic cup. Trust me when I tell you that the story would go on for up to 30 minutes. It would have all the emotions from tears to hold-your-tummy-because-you-are-laughing-so- hard. Can you see how great she was?! She covered love your environment, love your surroundings, and love others in a simple story.
Until recently, I didn’t realize how often she did NOT mention the negative side of the story. She never said, “I can’t believe someone threw that on the ground.” Or “I’m sure the selfish person who dropped that didn’t give a thought to the person who would HAVE to pick that up.” We all have the choice at how we see a story….how we recite the story…how we teach our youth…..
I think these stories are part of why my study on love has been so special to me. They helped me grab our second commandment and not want to let go. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31b) This is what she was teaching me so many years ago. They go hand in hand together.
I love the phrase “Pay it Forward.” In order to pay something forward, we must have received something first….and we did! It started back on a formless and empty world that was covered in darkness and deep waters. (Genesis 1:2 NLT) Over a few days, God gave that world light and life. I believe it was all created through His love, and because of that, we can say He gave it light, life, and Love. So this is what we first received…light, life, and love. Then we can skip a few years and again see where God gave us the same three things again.
I am the Light. (John 8:12) I am the Life. (John 11:25) God is love. (I John 4:16) Jesus was the gift that just kept on giving. Jesus “paid it forward” and is continuing to “pay it forward” to us today.
Today my prayer is short…..God help us all to embrace your love for us and give it to others so they will know YOU! We ask through Jesus.
Brenda McClure is a massage therapist and owner of Couples Touch of Love, a ministry seeking to heal marriages through the teaching of biblical touch. Brenda has a heart for seeing relationships healed and brought back to the fullness that God designed them to be.