“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (Prov. 3:3-4 NIV)
After being closed for so long due to the Corona virus, I heard yesterday that the local thrift store will be opening again. I have always enjoyed shopping there not so much for the bargain prices on used clothes and books as for the unique experiences I have had there.
One such experience has a special place in my heart, mind, and soul. I was at the store browsing through the book shelves looking for something I hadn’t read before while my son was doing the same with the CDs and DVDs. Suddenly, I noticed a tiny little voice. A small girl no more than four years old was sitting on the floor reading one of the children’s books aloud. I watched her while she gazed intently at the book reading all the words she knew and sounding out the ones she wasn’t sure of. It brought back a flood of memories of me teaching my own daughter to read and I smiled down at her. “You read really well,” I said. She looked up at me with a big, toothy grin and then bent her head back down to read some more. I turned back to the shelves, started checking for books again, and allowed her sweet voice to serenade me while I looked. When her Mother finally told her it was time to go, she put her book back neatly and smiled up at me again. Then she took a step forward, wrapped her arms around my waist, and gave me a heartfelt hug. I felt my eyes moisten, my heart warm, and my face smile. I patted her gently on her back and she skipped away to her Mom. It was just a moment. Yet, it will live in my soul forever.
What powerful things a kind word and a gentle hug can be. They can reach into a heart and change it forever. They can turn a life around. They can make God smile and all of Heaven sing. The power to give and share love is the greatest power in the whole world. Use yours every chance you get! Love God! Love yourself! And Love everyone else!
Joseph J. Mazzella