Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤
Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤
“When the heart speaks, however simple the words, its language is always acceptable to those who have hearts.”
– Mary Baker Eddy
A poem for my love –
A Simple and Unremarkable Perfection
It’s a miracle of perfection.
I am warm and fed and I can hear
my loved one tapping the keys
on his laptop
and clearing his throat
I have chamomile tea with
cream and a chunk of
sourdough bread and the wind is
the rain-splattered screen on the
and making the lights behind it
look like they’re dancing
I feel no pain or fear
I know I’m completely safe
and I imagine coming through
some terrible danger
and finding myself in this room
and what a miracle that would
seem to be
and how much I’d appreciate the
perfection of it
and I am filled with gratitude
– Karen Molenaar Terrell, from A Poem Lives on My Windowsill
Another moment of life –
another moment to love.
Several years ago I received a message through another Christian Scientist from a man in Florida named Chip, who had just finished reading my book, Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist. Chip wrote: “…I was searching high and low to find an address or way to find Karen for having the courage to express her own unique identity as Love’s reflection, and in doing so, to echo a resounding ‘Yes’ to my own inner sense of Love’s direction in my life.”
Chip’s kind words meant a lot to me, and I wrote him back right away to thank him. And so began our friendship. 🙂
When I first met Chip he had been a registered medical nurse for 28 years, and had been with his partner for “almost as long.” As a medical nurse and a gay man he had “found roadblocks” in feeling closer to the Christian Science community. He said, “…but you know, I just really love to be with folks who are making an effort to be closer to God Who is All Good and All Love!”
Chip’s friendship over the last several years has been a wonderful blessing to me. He always seems to know when I most need an encouraging word, a bit of email inspiration, and a cheering picture of flowers or pets or his family.
I have not (yet) met Chip in the person. But I know him. I know his patients are blest to have him in their lives – his kindness and caring come through in every word he writes me. I know his family and friends and partner are blest to have him in THEIR lives, too. And I know I am blest to have him in mine.
Today I received a Valentine greeting from Chip – flowers and love.
As Mary Baker Eddy says in Science and Health, “Love is reflected in love.” My friend, Chip, is proof of that.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Chip! May this day and every day be filled with everything good for you and yours!
Come when the shadows fall,
And night grows deeply dark;
The barren brood , O call
With song of morning lark;
And from above,
Dear heart of Love,
Send us thy white-winged dove.
–Mary Baker Eddy
How wonderfully bolstering it is to recognize ourselves surrounded by the playful, joyful, comforting, cozy, warming, light-filled, splendid, unconditional and unchanging presence of Love. Our hearts are thirsty for it. To know we are loved, to know we are valued, needed, and precious gives us hope, bolsters our courage, and supports and inspires us to reach beyond our human sense of limitation and lack. Love gives us a mission, and gives us the resolve, courage, and wisdom to accomplish that mission.
We’ve probably all had times in our life when we’ve felt unloved, unlovable, and unloving. And maybe most of us have at times felt alone, or wondered if we’d ever find someone to share the joys and challenges of life with. I know I’ve experienced those times in my life. But what I’ve found as I’ve grown in my understanding of Love is that if I‘m not so concerned with whether or not people are showing love to me, but instead am focusing my energies on trying to show love to others, I find myself just naturally immersed in love – in a joyous universal celebration of Life.
Love is not dependent on other people, you know? We don’t have to wait for other people to love us, to express love to them. And we don’t have to wait for other people to be somehow “deserving” of our love. Every single one of God’s creations is deserving of love. No exceptions. And no matter what label people have stamped on themselves, or had stamped on them by others, everyone – young, old, monied, homeless, jobless, corporate executive, conservative, liberal, Christian, atheist, Buddhist, pagan, Muslim, Jew – was born deserving of love.
In his wonderful book, The Greatest Thing in the World, Henry Drummond writes: “God is love. Therefore love. Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love. Lavish it upon the poor, where it is very easy; especially upon the rich, who often need it most; most of all upon your equals, where it is very difficult, and for whom perhaps we each do least of all. There is a difference between trying to please and giving pleasure. Give pleasure. Lose no chance of giving pleasure.”
And in the book of Matthew, Jesus admonishes us to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, and to do good to those who hate us, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matt 6: 45)
Now I’m not saying it’s always easy to love without discrimination.
I remember, for instance, that the first time I saw the movie Gandhi I was so inspired by the love Gandhi expressed to everyone around him that I decided to be just like him – I was determined that I’d go through the whole next day without feeling animosity or ill will towards anyone else – in the same way that Gandhi did. This lasted about twenty minutes. As soon as the guy in the blue truck cut right in front of me and then proceeded to go under the speed limit, I completely forgot about the pact I’d made with myself. Afterwards, I felt terribly remorseful and discouraged with myself.
But here’s a cool thing: If sometimes we mess up, worry not – Life provides us with limitless opportunities to love. Every moment we have a new opportunity to discover and feel and prove the power of love. Isn’t that awesome?!!!
Drummond writes: “The test of religion, the final test of religion, is not religiousness, but Love… For the withholding of love is the negation of the spirit of Christ, the proof that we never knew Him, that for us He lived in vain. It means that He suggested nothing in all our thoughts, that He inspired nothing in all our lives, that we were once near enough to Him to be seized with the spell of His compassion for the world.”
You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments that stand out, the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love. – Henry Drummond
The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love. – Mary Baker Eddy
(This was originally published on my blog in February, 2012 – but it felt like it was the right time to bring it up again.) ❤