Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ― Leo Buscaglia

We, and by “we” I mean all of us, each of us, have the power to empower others to go farther, to achieve more, to become more than they ever thought they could be—and by doing so, we change the world.  What do you think Jesus did with just twelve guys (and one of them was bad) that created a religion that 2,000 years later is the biggest in the world?  What Jesus didn’t do was act like an Alexander the Great, or a Caesar, or a Napoleon.  Many have set out to change the world, but as Gandhi said, “Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.”   What has the power to change the world inside of each of us?  It is as the quote above says, it is a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, or the smallest act of caring which is just what Jesus did.  Jesus touched the leper, He cared for every single person, He forgave foolish acts and words, He loved the smallest child.
He called for no massive legislation or uprising or movements.  He never used people’s fears to make them do things.  He just loved and asked or rather commanded us to do the same.  The picture of Pope Francis cradling the misshapen head of a man so used to pain and hate says more than I ever could about the power of a simple touch.  We worry too much about ourselves, but when we stop to think about what—it is we love in other people, it is their ability to listen to us, to make us feel important, and to smile and care for us.  We may envy someone with a lot of money, but in the end, the people we most want to be like had next to none.  Jesus was rich, but not in material things, as was Ghandi, and so many other caring leaders.  The people who really cared about us were all willing to sacrifice their own lives for us.  Think of all the mothers and fathers who worked multiple jobs to provide for their children.  Karen had a poor, Hispanic girl in her kindergarten in Los Angeles that went on to get a scholarship to Harvard, graduated, and is now selflessly serving others who are struggling.  I don’t want to overdo Ghandi quotes but he also said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”  Jesus Christ said to live lives that become the Gospel.  I remember a sign on a church  that I have seen many times over the years, but it never loses its power.  It said, “You are the only Bible that many people will ever read.”  Sobering, isn’t it?  Do you move to the other side of the street and avert your children’s eyes from the deformed man in the picture?  Or do you reflect the glory of Christ by loving him?  This world is not our home—our home is eternal in the heavens, and as the old real estate saying goes, when it comes to eternity the three most important things for you are location, location, location.  Love, touch, smile, care, listen, or just be there when you are needed.  You will change the world if you will love others as Christ loves you, but it will take action on your part—all of those words in the previous sentence are active verbs, not nouns.  Be not hearers only but doers always.  One kind act may change the world and where you spend eternity, but you have to have Christ in your heart to love the way He wants us to love.  Every single one of us can do it, and every single one of us knows someone else who has touched us.  Amen?
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