Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Look Beyond Looks

Day 3 Love One Another Challenge

This morning it was cold. Cold enough to use the fireplace. I empty the ash bucket and then refill it with all that remained of our last fire. Carefully clean out the fireplace. Brave the cold to bring more wood inside. Wad up newspaper. Stack a few logs and start that thing up. Very soon I had a blazing fire. It was beautiful. The only problem is that the wood wasn't what was burning. It was the kindling. It appeared that I had a fantastic fire in my fireplace. What I really had was burning paper. It's what my husband would call drama. We had pyrotechnic drama, but no substance. And no lasting warmth.

On the surface this challenge is about physical appearance. There is so much more to it. We need to look beyond the drama, beyond the presentation. A child may be misbehaving or a person may be rude. What do we usually think about them? Sometimes we think what an awful human being. While that may be true, it is also true that each of us is a child of God. The bad behavior may be as simple as lack of sleep or bad environment at home or some other frustration that has nothing to do with us. My middle son gets very, very cranky when he is hungry. Until I made the connection I would get irritated at his hostile attitude.

A friend posted a video on Facebook. A man is trying to get to work. People keep getting in his way. A neighbor boy on his skateboard gets in his way. A woman steals his parking spot. The very slow person in the line in front of him at the coffee shop. The man is stewing in his frustrations when someone give him magic glasses. He puts the glasses on and can then see all the burdens the people around him have to carry. Parents fighting. Divorce. Death. Financial struggles. Addictions. All these people that were an inconvenience to him were now opportunities to serve.

"Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. Each one is doing their best to deal with the challenges which come their way...may we strive to do our best to help out." Thomas S. Monson

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