Love is more than a word. Love is an action. Love is a path to share hope, getting us through the best and the worst of circumstances. Millions will gather today in the name of love. On this national day of prayer, some 40,000 prayer gatherings will be held around the United States. It dates back to 1952 when President Harry Truman signed it into law. President Reagan amended the law in 1988 to designate the first Thursday of May as National Day of Prayer. Its purpose and impact have been challenged much like every other religious freedom in our nation. This year’s theme goes beyond giving thanks and turning to God in prayer; it intentionally compels us to examine the core of America’s brokenness.
We must love one another as God loves each of us. To be able to love, we need a clean heart. Prayer is what gives us a clean heart. The fruit of prayer is a deepening of faith and the fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action. All in one breath, Mother Teresa identified the command, the stumbling, and the fix. As a replica of the new command given over 2000 years ago, “Love One Another” is a relevant theme for this National Day of Prayer. Sadly, it is a command we (as a nation) have failed in; we fail to learn the core of the lesson. As Christ loved us, we were told to love one another. Scripture guides us to a very simple fix. How can something so simple become so complicated? How can service and compassion be so misaligned? The answer is in a word. SELF.
When self is lived out as it is defined, a person’s essential being distinguishes them from others. One’s own worth becomes priority and their ultimate purpose is lost. Mother Teresa’s words are void of self and full of connection; it is imperative to see the we and us, not me or I. We are commanded to love and must also be compelled to learn in order to heal the brokenness that is all around us. Whether solid or wavering in faith, all are capable of making a difference through acts of compassion. It is as simple as handing a bag of snacks to the homeless guy at the corner or being the shoulder to lean on when someone loses a loved one or being thankful for the gift of a newborn baby.
There are as many opportunities to share the fruit of love as there are breaths in our lungs. We can help heal the broken by desiring a heart that loves and a mind that learns. I cannot erase disease but I can ease suffering with love and compassion. I cannot make the world’s problems go away, but I can serve in love. A decision to offer hope is an opportunity to deepen faith, in the giver and the receiver. This National Day of Prayer is a perfect time to emphasize the need to love one another. God, give me Your eyes. #love1another