Fall is the season for cobwebs and outside the window of my den is one for the records. A mama spider and her pod of babies hang by the thinnest of threads. She catches flies and eats them as she waits for the pods to break open. From my window I watch her spin her web, layer upon layer, then, skill she skillfully monograms her signature in the center.
Soon, her young will cast their first webs, and catch a ride on the breeze, to places far away.
I remember a book from childhood, Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White.
“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” ― E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
So often we look at the broken and messy order of our lives and think we are of no use to anyone until we correct our mess. I remember being a single mother, still feeling the pain of a difficult divorce and the loneliness that comes with divorce believing I could not be a good friend to anyone. I could barely get myself, and my children, up and out of the door each morning. How could I be of any use to anyone?
But it is your life experience, in the broken, and messy of life, that gives you the ability to be a friend, and understand the broken in another. The best friend to have is one who loves, listens and understands without any expectation in return.
Have you given of yourself without expectation of any gain? It doesn’t matter how messy your life is or how much you have failed at life. It is when you press aside any embarrassment or insecurity about yourself and make your life about someone else that you find life to be satisfying. You also find strength and sense of good self-esteem when you say to others, “You go first, I’ll hold the door.”
As a mother of two and step mother of two and wife of one amazing husband, I frequently find I am helping my family grow and mature, and by doing so, I see myself mature more like Christ.
Sometimes I’m frustrated that my personal goals are not always met. But, given enough time, and prayer, I see how my sacrifice made a difference for our family’s best and our children’s self-esteem.
“then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:2-5)
In giving ourselves away we find an abundance of love, joy and gratification. When Love increases, then the eyes of our understanding open to see how God loves us. He gives to us even though we can never repay or thank Him adequately.
In giving we find Joy, because there is something about doing for others that reaches beyond happiness and embraces pure joy. We find that our greatest riches are not what we can hold in our hands but what we can give to others. Then, we see how we can never out give God. The more we give, the more He increases our ability to give.
We have gratification knowing we have done something significant, making a different in the life of another. We have done our good works not to benefit ourselves but to act as Christ. Here is where we can make an eternal difference in the lives of others, by creating a place to talk about how Christ loves.
“by this everyone will know that you are my disciples , if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
In what ways do you show the love of Christ?
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