Photographer Sue Thomson with Home, Corporate, & Church Based Art plus Poetry and Christian Perspectives
By Sue Thomson
On January 14th and 18th of this year (2015), my “Cords of Joy” posts started like this: “In the weeks and months ahead, you will find threads of words and thoughts that will wind in and out of these messages, creating something that will hopefully stir our hearts and challenge us.” This is another addition to that series…
“All You Need is Love” by the Beatles plays in my mind as February brings us love, hearts, and valentines. My hope is that this month’s love will help us to grow further into a lifetime of loving, caring, empathy, compassion, kindness, friendliness, and even tolerance! These are words that, again, call us into Christian action!
Caring has to do with feeling and exhibiting kindness, concern and empathy for others.
Empathy is placing ourselves in someone else’s pain to better understand their pain. When we begin to understand, we are driven to pray even harder than before… and are diligent in doing things, large or small, to strengthen them.
Compassion is sympathetic concern for the sufferings or misfortunes that others endure.
Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
Friendliness is being kind and pleasant. Just because you are not friends with someone or you don’t really know them is no reason not to be friendly. Being friendly is something we should continually express to those around us, be it someone we know or a stranger.
Tolerance is a tough one! Why would we want to care about someone we can hardly tolerate, especially when we do not agree with their opinions or like their behavior? Last year there was a TV series called “Save Me”. The main character, Beth, has had a near death experience and now hears God telling her things that she should say and do… which is not always easy! A great episode, “WWJD”, deals with tolerance. Although the local people view one of the neighbors as a terrible person, Beth learns that when she takes the time to look deeper, she finds there is more than meets the eye! If you get a chance, watch the whole episode or at least the highlight clip. The highlight link is:http://www.nbc.com/save-me/video/the-birth-of-a-good-samaritan/n37448/ and the full episode link is:http://www.nbc.com/save-me/video/wwjd/n37444/ .
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (NIRV) defines Love: “4 Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. 5 It is not rude. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. 6 Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. 7 It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up. 8 Love never fails… …13 The three most important things to have are faith, hope and love. But the greatest of them is love.”
We can begin to see the fibers of our actions forming into beautiful cords that continually twist together, strengthening us into a rope that Christ can use! Remember that we, as Christians, should find it easier and easier to love others, because God first loved us!
“16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16(NIV)