Love Is a Superpower

Check out that title again. Go on. Don’t worry, I’ll wait right here for you.

See that? Did you know that? Think about it! Love is a superpower.

Love is versatile. Love is strong. Love is life-saving. Love is world-changing.

Love is a superpower.

See that girl standing against the wall over there, her head bowed? That head covered in luminescent teal and aqua hair, hair that perfectly matches her outfit? Imagine how proud she must have been of that radiant ensemble after meticulously planning and putting it together. Then no one complimented it. No one noticed the bravery and care it took to live her unique beauty and truth. Now imagine her face after you step over and tell her, “I love your mermaid hair!” Imagine the smile that might brighten that beautiful young face. That’s the power of love. That’s the supernal magic of expressed kindness and compassion.

Love is a quiet word. Love is a genuine compliment. Love is an acknowledgement of trying.

Love is a superpower.

When we extend even a little love outward, it ripples, reverberates, snowballs, and multiplies exponentially. It may not always come back to us but we can absolutely count on it surging forward like a wave swell, building and increasing in power as it courses onward until it finally hits and explodes, sending uncountable, shining, shimmering pieces of itself out into the air and the world.

Love is what compels children to pick up their plate, walk out of a restaurant, and hand it to a hungry soul huddled outside.

Love is what compels neighborhoods to rally around their sick, elderly, and downtrodden to lift them up to hope.

Love is why children who are left to grieve the death of a parent are gathered close and taken in by family friends. People who have always treated children like their own are taking them into their families as their own, ensuring that they know they are loved, protected, and wanted.

Is love always easy? No. I love always accepted, lauded, or thanked? No. Like courage, love does not derive its definition from simply doing it when it is easy. Courage is doing what’s right or what’s needed in the face of being scared. Love is doing good when we could do otherwise.

Love is we choose to step into an isolated corner or a lonely cafeteria table and speak to the soul that’s hidden there.

Love is when we choose to wait for someone rather than rushing ahead.

Love is when we choose kind words and a soft voice rather than the explosion our feelings tell us is warranted.

Love is when we choose to see the child needing help coping rather than the little tyrant throwing a fit.

Love is when we choose to accept as is. When we choose to sit with, hold close, listen intently, speak encouragingly, handle gently, defend boldly, and act mercifully. Watch what happens. Watch the changes, the improvements; watch the vibration, reverberation, and snowballing of that love as it is passed on to others. Love never remains stagnant, unchanged, or even in one place.

Love is supernatural. Love is supernal. Love is superb. Love is absolutely a superpower!



A Long Way From Home – Day 4: Makings of Mermaid

Today was monumental. It was my girl’s first day at the beach! Well, technically not her “first” day. Of the three years that we have brought her to visit her grandparents and my side of the family, we have taken her to the beach for two of them. Both times, she was adamant that the water was NOT for her. This time, however, we could barely keep her from running headlong into the ocean. I managed to convince my little mermaid to go slowly, bit by bit. First, feet in the waves, then up to her waist with Grandpa holding her under her arms, and then I got her into her floaty vest and out into the water she went wth me and Grandpa.

All I could do was smile when my girl exclaimed, “This is so much fun!”

After she got out of the water for the second time, my beautiful little mermaid immediately ran over to a bunch of girls who were building sandcastles with spades and pails and sat right down with them and made herself welcome. They were kind girls and shared a pail and spade with her and taught her how to make sandcastles with it. The girls didn’t run her off, didn’t comment on how her mom should teach her to ask first. They just accepted my girl into their midst and taught her something new that she had longed to do for weeks. It did my heart tremendous good to see kindness curated in such a real and gentle way. Thank you, girls! I hope you have a great rest of your vacation.

To see my daughter enjoy such innocent and exuberant fun made my soul soar. It also gave me a chance to sit quietly and observe the beach that I had frequented in my childhood. It feels strange to start thinking in terms of “when I was a kid” or “when I was young” but the truth is that, in this coming month, I will be a full-grown hobbit. Today, people stretched up and down the beach as far as I could see. When I was a child, the occupancy of the beach was a fraction of that, even on a Saturday, so to see such a crowd on a Thursday was startling. There are also vendors everywhere: beach chairs, food, snorkel rentals, raft rides, etc. None of that was ever a part of beach going when I was a kid; if you couldn’t get a spot under one of the cabanas that were there, you set up your towels and such in the deepest shade you could find.The world I knew is the world I knew no longer. Not that that’s a bad thing, as it’s still a world that I can share with my daughter and my family.

Yes, I Ask.

Some people would probably say that a “good” Christian doesn’t question God. Well, if that’s the case, I’m fine with the “good” left permanently off any description of me as a Christian, because I most certainly do question God. However, it might not be in the vein that you are expecting. I don’t question God and cry out, “Why is this happening to me?” No. I did that before and I got my response, so that’s not a question I need answered anymore.

No, what I ask is: “Why is this happening to them?”

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NaBloPoMo Day 11: Solid Words to Live By

As I have gone through life, I have found that there are several quotes and axioms and Scriptures that have resurfaced or repeated time and time again, often extremely pertinent, relevant, and poignant to just what I was experiencing at the time. Several of these have come to form cornerstones for me and the way I live my life. What I will include here are four of those soul foundations.

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My Life Song

This is intensely personal and has a great deal to do with my faith and how I look at how I should live.

I have sung this song quite a few times in my life but, as we sang it at the close of worship service today, a thought struck me.

This is my heart song, my life song. 

This is what I want my life to be about, my efforts, my desires, and what I want to be evident in the way I go through this life.

Out in the highways and byways of life,
Many are weary and sad;
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,
Making the sorrowing glad.
Make me a blessing, make me a blessing,
Out of my life may Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.
Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love,
Tell of His pow’r to forgive;
Others will trust Him if only you prove
True, every moment you live.
Give as ’twas given to you in your need,
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed,
Unto your mission be true.

NaBloPoMo 2014 Day 3: Hobbitish Lessons

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings saga, Samwise Gamgee is gifted with a small carved box of soil from Lothlorien by Queen Galadriel, the Lady of Light. When he returned home to his beloved Shire, ravaged by Saruman and his minions, Sam opened the box and allowed a fair wind to carry the soil all throughout the Shire. The power inherent in that small patch of dirt returned the Shire to its former glory and more in time, even flourishing the next generation of hobbit children. It was Sam’s gift and blessing for his faithfulness.

On a shelf in my living room sits a round, hand-carved, wooden box. It was a gift from a dear friend and mentor, a token from her time on the mission field in Malawi, Africa. This friend also calls me her “Samwise”. When she gave me this box and called me her ‘dear Sam’, it made an indelible mark on my heart and soul. There has been many a time when I have sat, holding this box, mulling over something that was weighing on me – a decision to be made, a course of action to take, needed words to say. That box is my reminder that love, faithfulness, and willingness to carry our friends and do for others are part and parcel of, not only the Christian life, but should also be so of life, period. We are people built for interdependence, relationship, and those are built up by these tenets.

I want to live up to this blessed title gifted me by this dearest of friends. I want to be Samwise, not only for her, but for those whom I cross in the world – friend, family, acquaintance, and stranger. Uncle Gandalf does indeed say it quite succinctly: