I have learned that God shows up in the people who love us, one after another.
I have learned that as one person is taken from us, or steps back, or dies, already another is approaching – another person bringing love from God, another person being God for us, as we are for them, bringing comfort, bringing their kind attention, bringing their lessons and gifts for us. Even within the same five minutes as the loss we experience, within the month, within the year, God is always approaching anew.
I have learned that we can sometimes give so much of our attention looking back at the person who is missing, that we do not see the new person standing in front of us, ready to show us more of God's love. We moan and we cry and lament the passing of the special someone who was in our lives for too short a time. We are greedy for that person, for the love of yesterday. When they go, we can get stuck looking for them and finding their chair empty. We stare at the empty space, crying for them to be there! Be there!
Look around you now. Who do you feel is missing?
We can keep looking backward, into yesterday. We can bring yesterday's love (and pain!) into today. We can give all of today's energy to yesterday. Each of those yesterdays had 24 hours, just as each today does. And we can take and take from today and send our present moments back into yesterday, filling those days, jam-packing those days full of today's energy, today's moments, today's hours.
Or, we might pull all of that pain and joy of yesterday forward and make today so full of yesterday that there is no room for today's pain and joy, today's love, today's new experiences to grow in us. Yes, I have learned that we can bring the pain and loss from yesterday forward, and offer it to others, now, in our lives today.
What do our present companions get from us? They get the responses to our history more than our love for them in this day, in this time.
We can stare longingly at the blank wall, seeing the joys of yesterday vividly replaying there. We can stare achingly at the blank wall, seeing the pains of yesterday bruising our lives again and again. We can keep living our lives in response to what was: "I am a product of that." "I am a survivor of that." "I once loved and was loved by them." We can keep staring, keep feeling, keep living numbly.
And that is our choice.
I have learned that we can, instead, bring the love from yesterday forward into today and offer it to others now, still, in the present moment. We can bring the joy and good love we have experienced and move it forward to enhance our relationships of today. It lives!
Ah, look around again. Who is now in your life offering love?
You choose where to look. Choose love. Look for the love. Look until you find it, for it is there. It is in you, for you, from you, to you, around you.
Love is in the sunlight, in the cloudy sky, in the rain, the rivers, the oceans, the canyons, the mountains.
Love surrounds us in the people we see, the people we talk with, care for, those with whom we worship, those who care for us, our nurses, our teachers, our bus drivers. Look in their eyes. There is love. Always. You are loved, constantly.
Love is in our families, our friends, our children, our cousins, our co-workers, our beloved animal friends.
Love is in the birdsong, the circling hawk, the silent deer watching us, the whispering oaks.
We can turn our eyes to this day. Thank God for this day. Find reverence in all that is occurring this day. And look for the love in this day. Look! See it! There is Love coming to you from many directions in this moment. Now.
I have learned that God shows up in a series of faces in our lives: each one a lover, a teacher, a student, a healer, an angel, a challenger, a manifestation of Divine Love for each of us, as we are for them.
Written by Blaire Fallon Byrley
January 12, 2011
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