“Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself.” (Romans 15:1-3)
These days, there’s so much emphasis on self-care, and self-promotion, and setting boundaries, and “doing what’s right for you”. These have their place, certainly, but it’s easy to cross the line from taking good care of yourself to simply being self-centered and self-serving.
We are actually called to live thoughtfully of others before ourselves.
I imagine it like us going on a family hike. Which is to say, we go as fast as the four-year-old can go. Of course, my husband and I are quite capable of going twice her speed—and there are times when we kind of wish we could. Yet, we slow our steps, wait for her when she falls behind, take her hand to help her along. We set aside our strength and bear with her weakness because we love her.
“Love does not seek its own.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!About the photo: I always admire the way this particular variety of grass gracefully and naturally bends. I’m not as up on my grass identification, so if anyone can tell me what kind of grass it is, please comment and let me know!
Farewell to shadows of bluebells on white chicken coop walls…Farewell to pleasant afternoons hanging laundry on the line in the company of friendly toads…Farewell to grasshoppers, and white trumpet vines, and all other such elegant pairings…Farewell to barefoot days at the edge of the lake……Farewell to the haunting serenade of loons… Farewell to daisy bouquets made by small hands, and smoky sunsets, gifts from forests burning far away…Farewell to cumulonimbus, those splendid, tall ships sailing by in the sea of the sky…Farewell to restless, flitting warblers in green, green meadows…Farewell to lush gardens decked in the thousand diamonds of sudden morning showers…Farewell to the brief, warm nights, sparkling with celestial beauty and fireflies, humming with mosquitoes…Farewell to all the sun-ripened berries hiding under the leaves…Farewell to picturesque encounters on whimsical summer evening drives…Farewell to all the babies, now raised and grown…Farewell to dancing swallowtails in ballrooms of flowers…Farewell, sweet summer; welcome, glorious autumn!
This was a November unmatched for beauty, as autumn lingered gloriously long—and these are the quintessential pictures of it in my mind.
The landscape awash in rich browns and golds…the rustle of drying grasses in the gentle breeze as the sunlight gilded it all to royalty… the frosty mornings…followed by warm and golden days…But kind as it’s been to us, November is still a month of transitions as it must be, a split personality, if you will, bridging the gap between autumn and winter—and “they say”, whoever they may be, that the time of the inevitable change is at hand. There’s a winter storm warning for the weekend, and it’s time to finish that project of putting small girls’ mittens on strings that I’ve been putting off because we just haven’t needed them yet.
So, gladly anticipating the approach of a new season and a world of white on its way, I take a moment to bid one last adieu to autumn. It’s been lovely—see you next year!
“O God…You have established all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter.” (Psalm 74:17)
(And the seasons in between—and I’m grateful!)
This is only a tiny slice of the beauty of this morning.
No camera can capture the feel of cool morning dew on bare feet, or the warmth of the rising sun on my face as it burnt through the swirling mists on the lake.
You can’t know that sky high over my head was patterned with a magnificent rippling pattern of cirrocumulus clouds, all shining and white.
Perhaps a video recording might capture the liquid trilling flute of red-winged blackbirds, the trumpeting of many swans and the distant drumming of a grouse that blended in symphonic harmony all around me—but I doubt it would do it justice.
If you looked very closely, you might be able to tell that there is a miniature scene inside every single one of those water droplets, that, if magnified, would be a sparkling world of a thousand blades of grass strung with more pearls of dew with a million more worlds inside.
These pictures are a lovely glimpse of this moment in time, 6:36 AM—but there was so much more.
That’s kind of how it is with heaven. We read about streets of gold and robes of white and singing praises around the throne of God, but they are all only glimpses into wonders that we can’t even imagine. Lovely glimpses, yes—but there will be so much more. I can hardly wait!
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully…” (1 Corinthians 13:12)