“See the need. Do the deed” is one of my boss’s favorite sayings. Unfortunately, some people either don’t see the need or if they do, they ignore it. It often leaves the same people doing a big portion of the work. And this is a breeding ground for resentment.
I’ve experienced this first hand. My roommates and I had an unusually large amount of trash and recycling to get to the curb after Christmas. We got it out there before the trash truck came. But at the end of the day, I passed by the house while I was on my way to do some errands. I noticed that the trash cans were tipped over, empty—lying in the street. I knew that one of my roommates was home, but she hadn’t brought in the trash cans.
Ugh! How could she not see something that obviously needed to get done?
I stewed for several minutes. But then, I was struck by quite an opposite thought. The idea was, “Don’t limit Love.” It was as big as a billboard and as catchy as a sound bite. It told me to be open to the way God would help me solve this inequity of labor. The idea was so simple, yet so clear.
Love is a name for God. Through my study of the Bible, I have learned that “God is love.” Mary Baker Eddy, referenced this Bible quote in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She wrote, “‘God is Love.’ More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go.” To me this means that we’re always within the reach of divine Love. The love of God is freely and fairly given to each of His children.
I started to realize that if I resented my roommate, a close friend, I was actually resenting God and even myself. How so? Because God created both of us in Her image, in the image of Love. My real priority was to worship or love God, not worry about the trash cans or other chores. And there’s healing and freedom when we focus on this love of God and express it.
There’s a great story in the New Testament about two of Jesus’ friends, Martha and Mary. When Jesus visits these sisters, Martha is busy fussing to get a meal ready for him. Mary doesn’t help. Instead she spends her time listening intently to Jesus and his spiritual message. Martha asks Jesus to tell Mary that there is work to do and that she needs to help out. Probably a lot of us have felt the same way when we’re under pressure while making a special meal for someone.
Jesus doesn’t do as Martha hoped. He responds, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Though well intentioned, Martha’s focus on being a good hostess to Jesus had distracted her from the most important thing, welcoming the Christ message of God’s love for humanity, which Jesus represented.
On that rainy trash day, I admit I was more like Martha than Mary. But the Christlike thought of not limiting Love helped me follow in Mary’s footsteps that evening. I finished my errands and drove home with the hope that there was a happy solution for me and the chores at home. My critical attitude was long gone. Although the trash cans were still out by the street when I got there, I was no longer resentful. I asked my roommate to help me bring them in. She agreed, and we quickly took care of the chore.
Since this incident—and probably more important, since the change in my attitude from critic to loving friend—my roommates have pitched in and done their share without any prodding from me.
Even a little understanding that God is not limited in Her love for us, makes life more pleasant. Daily routines are less burdensome when seen through the lens of love. That’s certainly been my experience. When I stopped keeping a tally of who did what chore, I caught a nice big glimpse of God’s expansive love. And lovely adjustments took place in my household because of that new perspective.
God’s love for all:
Science and Health
Ginger Mack lives in Elgin, Illinois, United States.
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