If I had more love I would not irritated by the kid, halfway through the school year’s third quarter, who still does not bring a pen or pencil to class, by the dirty dishes I find on the counter that I left clean when I went to bed the night before, or by incessant, irreverent diatribes that flood the airwaves, newspapers, and Internet.
If I had more love the non-pencil bearing student would want to come prepared to class, my family would yearn to clean up after themselves (Wouldn’t that be nice!!), and, with enough more love, I could even restore light, hope, and respect to public dialogue. Love-filled people before me have.
A couple years ago, enlightened by the realization that I need more love, I adopted Moroni 7:48 as a guideline-- “...pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ…” --and I began petitioning my Father, in nearly every prayer, to be filled with love.
I am still petitioning.
As I prayed, I imagined my Father in Heaven miraculously pouring love into my heart, using a figurative pitcher to fill it. Filled by Him with His love, I thought His love would flow through me and blessing the lives of those with whom I associate.
Today I realized I am being miraculously filled with love but the love is not coming from some figurative, imaginary pitcher. Love is literally pouring into my life and it is coming from you and from people like you. It makes perfect sense in hindsight--of course the God is using His children to bless me--but it was a piece of sacred, divine, personal revelation when it came to me as I took the sacrament today. I am being filled with His love by His children.
Following are a few of this week’s love-fillings:
- “You are my favorite second mom.” [Said to me by Grace’s friends as I fed them pancakes and caramel syrup.]
- “I found this and thought you might enjoy it.” [Said to me by my darling neighbor as she handed me a 19 year old photo of my now 20 year old daughter.]
- “You got this Momma.” [Texted to me by that 20 year old daughter when I told her I had to walk 5 miles from the train station to the theater.]
- “Come and see me.” [Said to me by another neighbor because he wanted to give Valentine’s chocolates to my girls and I.]
- “Sister Hislop and my mother are very much alike.” [Said by my Bishop in what is truly one of the greatest compliments I have ever been given.]
- “You really are beautiful.” [Said by not one but two very sincere students in my first period class.]
- “Do you have plans for dinner?” [Said to me by a sweet, elderly lady in my congregation because she wanted to send me home with some food to use in my Sunday meal preparation.]
- “Come in.” [Said to me by a young mother in the ward when I knocked on her door seeking insight.]
- “Of course.” [Said to me by a couple in temple when I asked for a ride home.]
- “I noticed you are limping. Are you damaged?” [Said to me by a woman I admire who not only noticed that I used the handrail to haul myself up the stairs but also cared enough to ask. She also cared enough to ask about my family and to share tears and fears with me.]
- “Talk next week?” [Texted me by a beloved BYU roommate with whom I’d shared an evening of food and friendship.
- “Thank you my Moxie sister!” [Texted me by an amazing woman who is facing some incredible health challenges. I am so honored to be called her sister.]
- HUG [Given me by a dear friend after sharing a new book and an old dream]
- “How are you?” [Asked me in the foyer of church last week by a woman with tears in her eyes who had seen the tears in mine.]
- “Thank you Mom. Really.” [Said by my son after I gave him a basketball playing tip,]
- “Can I have a hug?” [Said by the other son, as he combed the house seeking me.]
- “It’s okay. No worries.” [Said to me by my colleague after I’d made him walk an extra half mile AND miss the train because I insisted on walking west to the train station that was actually south.]
- “Thanks for being married to me.” [Said by a righteous man who truly is pleased to be my husband.]
Filled with love. By God, through you. And people like you.