“The Beauty of the Butterfly,” Photo by Me! (August 2016)
Today would have been my last Love Notes 20 post, but I decided to prolong the fun. My partner faced some challenges and needed a little extra time to get her last card to me, so instead of posting about the cards I received for the final prompt, I’m sharing with you the letter I sent in response to the final prompt.
“Be the change.”
When I considered the prompt, so many thoughts raced through my mind that I hardly knew how to tackle it. I ruminated for many days; then, during my prayer and meditation moments one morning, I read a thought that stuck with me and coincided with the theme.
Here’s a summary:
In order to see God’s vision for your life and become part of God’s story, there are four promises you must claim:
- You have a gift only you can give.
- Someone has a need only you can meet, only you can heal—no matter how inadequate you feel.
- Joy is the journey where the gift and the need collide. God’s path for your life is a collision course. The intersection where your gift crashes into the world’s need is where you will truly begin to live.
- Your journey to give your gift will break you…but it will also make you. –[from Better Than You Can Imagine: God’s Calling, Your Adventure by Patrick Quinn, emphasis mine]
After reading this, I knew I had to share this with my penfriends, so I sent them a letter instead of a postcard or notecard.
The excerpt from Better Than You Can Imagine unveils a principle I embrace. If we are to be the change, then we have to find the gift someone needs—the world needs—that only we can give. We don’t just wake up one morning and decide what we’re going to give. We decide to accept and share the gift, but discovering this gift is a journey—not a decision.
Imagine how much collective change we can create if all individuals would take the journey to find that one thing and exercise it. We would literally change the world! As we partner with God on finding this “great need,” our lives are transformed from the inside out and we experience the “symbiotic” nature of change: the world opens up and reveals to us what it needs and we open up and provide.
Far too often we get caught up in the idea of making a name for ourselves or doing something grand when what seems smallest can make a huge impact on someone’s life and on the world.
A long time ago, I read “A Grammarian’s Funeral,” a poem by Robert Browning, which celebrates the grammarian’s lifelong dedication to Greek language study and his discovery of the articles. While he lived, his colleagues criticized his “wasting his life” and his brilliant mind on such trifles. For them his work was menial, but, though they seem a small contribution, the articles—a, an, and the—are so essential to our languages.
Like the grammarian, we must be keenly focused on finding our part and then doing it. In doing our “small” part, we change the whole.
I encourage you, if you have not already done so, take the journey to find your unique gift and be the change. In affecting even one person’s life, you’re doing your part to change the entire world. The possibilities are amazing!