A pen never knows what it will write, a brush never knows what it will paint and a chisel never knows what it will sculpt. When God takes someone into his hands in order to accomplish a new work in his Church, the person doesn’t know what she will do. I think this might be my case: I’m only the tool. ~Chiara Lubich
A year ago I began working with a company in Beijing. I love the job, but it means my work schedule is a bit earlier than most Americans. Because of that, I haven’t seen the news in a year.
I now subscribe to a news source that provides a quick read of what’s going on in the world. I can usually get through it in ten minutes or so and have a basic idea of what is happening here and abroad.
Sometimes I regret that.
A few days ago I read through the headlines and fell to my knees in prayer. Poland was having a Supremacy March. An earthquake in Iran and Iraq killed hundreds of people just as winter is beginning. Thousands have been killed in the Philippines drug trade. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Yemen are starving people and threatening war. Women are coming forward in unprecedented numbers to expose sexual harassment and exploitation.
The world is a tragic, sinful place.
In the early 1940’s a young Italian woman also fell to her knees. Chiara Lubich wondered what it would be like if everyone showed love. In a world where bombs fell because of hatred and greed, Chiara wanted love and peace to fall instead. Her desire turned into a movement- Focolare -that is practiced in 182 countries today.
What do they do?
Show love 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Love neighbors, enemies, strangers, and brothers.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Chiara will be remembered for the love she showed and the movement she created.
God doesn’t ask us to start a movement that circles the world. He asks us to love, right where we are.
My grandmother will be remembered for years because she sent food to a family who had less than her own. My grandfather is remembered for saying hello to everyone he met on the street. My friend, Larry, will be remembered for extending a hand of friendship to criminals and druggies. I have friends that I will always remember for asking about my children, for helping me with needs, for listening, for praying, for being inside my life instead of on the edges.
You don’t have to stop a war. You don’t have to rescue disaster victims. You don’t even have to start a movement.
You do have to love the least of these. (Mt. 25:40)
What have you done today to love?