“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”(1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NLT)
For a long time now we have had a fat, fluffy, black, stray cat in our neighborhood. Sometimes I see her sitting on my porch. Sometimes I see her laying in my backyard. Sometimes I see her hiding under my car. Sometimes she even sneaks under my house through a crack in the underpinning. Each time I have approached her, however, she has run away. Finally, I gave up and decided to respect her independence. I even kept the crack in my underpinning so she could stay under my house on the cold nights. She more than paid her rent by keeping the mice away. We seemed to have a nice, little business relationship going.
Recently, though, something strange happened. This independent, loner, stray cat decided to adopt my daughter, Beth. Each time Beth walks over to my house from her place up the road she is greeted by the stray. The cat walks between her legs, marks Beth with her whiskers, purrs, and meows until she gets petted. It has happened day after day until this morning Beth left her a bowl of cat food as well. I guess that sealed the deal because Beth even started calling the stray, “Alice”. I doubt Alice will ever consent to become an indoor cat but she seems to have made Beth her forever friend and surrogate mother. It makes me smile seeing such a dog person getting such love from a stray cat, but Beth has a kindness and love that draws all sorts of animals to her from dogs, to cats, to birds.
Isn’t it amazing how Love works its way into our hearts and lives? We are minding our own business and suddenly we have a new pet, or a new friend, or get a moment to share an act of kindness. Love is such a glorious God-given tapestry and we are all connected through it.
Let Love work its way into your heart every chance you can then. Let your love flow into the lives of others as well. Because to love is to truly live and to live is to truly love.
Joseph J. Mazzella