“For the whole law is summed up in a single command,
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 5:14
There is a quote, often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, that says “Preach the gospel at all times, when necessary use words.” While it is not clear whether St. Francis ever actually said those words, his writings and life carry that sentiment. Regardless of where it came from, it is something we all need to keep in mind.
This last week or so has seemed particularly rough for my second grader.
After school each day, she has had a new story about about her “friend” Susie (not her real name). In each of these stories, her “friend” Susie was being mean to her – in some cases more than the expected second grade shenanigans. When I realized that these stories all revolved around the same person, I had to ask her a question.
I asked “Michaela, why do you call Susie your friend? She doesn’t sound like a friend.” Her answer shamed me a bit, because I should have known the answer before I asked the question.
Michaela told me, “Susie doesn’t have any friends, and she gets in trouble a lot. I thought if I was her friend she wouldn’t feel alone and get in trouble so much.” Out of the mouths of babes! Michaela calls Susie her friend so that Susie has a friend and doesn’t have to feel alone – even though Susie calls her bad names and does mean things.
The whole law summed up for me in the single action from an 8 year old: love your neighbor as yourself. Michaela wouldn’t want to feel alone and like she has no friends, so she makes sure her neighbor doesn’t feel alone and friendless.
Actions speak louder than words, my friends.
What news about God have our actions or inactions proclaimed to the world this last week? Have we found ways to fulfill the law and love our neighbor as ourself? For myself at least, I know I can do better. That is my goal for this week: to love my neighbor as myself, in word and especially in deed.
Being discipled by an 8 year old,