Sunday, February 15, 2009

Seeing The Best

by Donna L. Watkins

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "The glory of friendship is not just in the outstretched hand nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is in the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him."

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Homestead at Morningside Living History Farm, Gainesville, FL

A devotion from The Word For You Today tells of a wonderful friendship between husband and wife:

Johnny Cash recorded more than 1500 songs, had 14 number one hits, was awarded 11 Grammies and sold 50 million albums. Much of the credit goes to his wife, June, a committed Christian.

At her funeral Johnny's daughter said:

"In her eyes there were only two kinds of people: those she knew and loved, and those she didn't know and loved. She looked for the best in everyone; it was a way of life for her.

If you pointed out that a particular person was perhaps not deserving of her love, she would say, 'Well, honey, we just have to lift him up.' She was forever lifting people up. It took me a long time to understand that what she did when she lifted you up, was to mirror the very best parts of you back to yourself. She was like a spiritual detective; she saw into all your dark corners and deep recesses, saw your potential, and the gifts you didn't even know you possessed, and she lifted them up for you to see.

She did it for all of us, daily, continuously. But her great mission and passion was lifting up my dad. If being a wife were a corporation, June would've been the CEO. It was her most treasured role. She'd begin every day by saying, "What can I do for you, John?" Her love filled up every room he was in and lightened every path he walked. Her devotion created a sacred, exhilarating place for them to live out their married life. My daddy has lost his dearest companion, his musical counterpart, his soul-mate and best friend."

That is the power of a great relationship! Paul writes in I Corinthians 13:7, "Love never gives up." Is there somebody you've given up on? Somebody that hurt you and now your withdrawal from them will get revenge? Somebody who didn't live up to all you expected of them? Sometimes children, young and grown, get dumped out of our realm of love because they're not acting the way we wanted them to. They're not what we hoped they would be, which often is what we never achieved for ourselves. What chances do they have to achieve anything without the support of their God-given parents?

What hope do we ever have of true peace and joy when we're not in fellowship with them? Or maybe we've given up on our marriage because it's not what we dreamed it would be. Don't we have a long list of expectations when we marry? How could anybody meet them? We have certainly not met the list brought into the marriage by our spouse.

What we need is to focus on others and to begin lifting people up. Everybody has something good in them. You can find it and mirror back to them God's love in way. Often, the one you give love too will work at being rejected all the more because it's the only comfort zone they know. It's a slow walk in the beginning, but if you hang in there, I know you could do as good a job as June Carter Cash. What a delight and legacy you would leave behind! Be a light in somebody's darkness, and your own shadows will fade away in the reflection of the light you're giving.

Maybe the place to begin is with yourself? We are told to love others as we love ourselves ... there's not much to give out in some folks. If you don't love yourself, it's impossible to truly love anybody else, so maybe you need to begin Being You.

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