In "The Cloister Walk," Kathleen Norris shares, "in matters of the heart... there is no right or wrong way to do it, but only the way of your life." I recall meandering through desert roads in Joshua Tree National Park - experiencing the expanse of dry sands and scrubby brush, only to find sprouts of lovely yellow flowers here and there. Even in an environment that exudes harsh reality, there is such beauty and life abounding.
It makes me wonder how love percolates in my life; and perhaps posing for you the same preponderance. For me, I often focus so much on my shortcomings and failings that I forget there are more ways in which my life reveals love than a realize. During a recent shopping trip, a familiar store clerk exclaimed, "The boys are such a delight! I love to hear them sing." She then went on to praise me on how well I interacted with them and harbored such patience with them. While I thanked her for such kind compliments, my inner-self could not help but protest. I would put patience on a long list of characteristics I am in constant need of learning and re-learning.
Do you have such a list, friend? Does it seem to grow daily? Perhaps if we focused more on what unique ways we touch others' hearts and provide for their needs, we'll be able to experience more love for ourselves and for others, too. It's difficult to love when we don't know how we'll be received - but that is precisely why it's so important to love. So, let's put aside our insecurities and smile, looking forward to the next person God plants in our lives.