When this quote found me this morning, I thought, “What a great transition from hope to love!” And so we begin week 2 of Advent meditating on love and how, oftentimes, it lights the way.
Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak !@#$%^&* anyone can throw at us.
Last night, I went walking with a friend prior to our Christmas banquet at church. We were catching up on the last couple of weeks when the conversation turned to our new dog, LuLu. As I explained what this little canine meant to our family, I realized, I loved this new pet. It took me aback because, while I’ve always had cats and dogs in my home since childhood, I have never been the “animal person” that my sister and mother are. What I realized in this conversation about LuLu was that she had grounded me, just as my chickens had. Regardless of teen angst or massive “to do” lists, she reminds my daughter and me that life comes down to more than that.
When we returned to the church, I glanced over my shoulder and saw the daughter of a dear friend. I called out to her and stooped down to chat. She looked at me with her big eyes, and in her “old soul” voice said, “I really miss your chickens. They were so sweet. I loved them.” I smiled. My heart smiled. I knew exactly how she felt. I missed them too. Who could have thought 3 little birds would bring such hope and love into my life and help me get through days and challenges that seemed too big to surpass.
Last night, as I reflected on the next facet of Advent, I thought about LuLu and the Sisters, hope and love. I imagined that this is how St. Francis of Assisi felt standing in the midst of God’s creatures, great and small. There’s something to be said about the simple magnitude of unconditional love.
As we begin the week of meditations on this topic, I hope we will remember that love comes in many shapes and sizes. Our only task? To keep our hearts and spirits open to it, , even if it comes from feathers and fur.