Three Little Words

only loveWe live in a world defined by words.

We tweet. We post. We blog.

#wehashtag

We have, in many ways, over-indulged.

Creatively desensitizing…

Their power. Their impact. Their force.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love words.

Truly, I do.

But of late, I’ve noticed that when I read the “good” stuff,

I think.  I ponder. I even pause.

But I don’t allow it to affect my behavior.

And then yesterday, I read three words that would change that.

Only. Love. Today.

Words written by The Hands Free Mama in her post, “The Bully Too Close to Home.”

(So now you are probably expecting a link to said amazing blog. But I can barely figure out how to post my own words, so please just work with me and google it. You’ll be glad you did.)

Now after reading, pondering and letting it simmer a bit, I felt motivated to do something, which in and of itself is a blessed miracle since I am still a post-surgery, Percocet-popping, auto-immune flaring zombie.

(I’m telling you, it is THAT GOOD.)

Nevertheless, zombie miracle and all, I was motivated and did something about it. The kids and I grabbed our dry erase markers.  And then wrote the phrase on each bathroom mirror.

Within an hour, my eldest and I were bantering during the getting-to-bed phase, a nearly-always harried event.

“Hey, Mom…only love today….”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…you too.”

Pretty sure that is not what THFM had in mind but it must be said. We are a sarcastic people. And we banter in love or something profoundly like it.

Now I’ll admit, by the time my head hit the pillow last night, I had a sneaking suspicion this little experiment would be a giant failure.

It was only when I woke up and began living through the refrain of, “ONLY LOVE TODAY” that I had the slightest inkling we might be on to something. The entire spirit of the house had changed.  And as I added the simple words to the power of my own reflection,  I kept coming back to two overwhelming conclusions:

1)      I spend FAR too much of my day in the bathroom (which is the topic for an entirely different blog.)

2)      My daily response to my face in the mirror is, “Even Jesus could not love this.”

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Three words.

Three measly little words.

Just three words seen through my reflection have identified something deep inside me that I didn’t even know existed.

And quite frankly, it has revolutionized my morning…

As I look in the mirror at the new scars on my belly.  Bright and red against the background of those faded.  Covered in colors testament to the crappy immune system that lies within.

I stop and say, “Only love today.”

As I wait in line at the store and the grumpy checkout lady grumps at me.  With the bile rising from my usually hard to find angry place.  And every human bit of me wanting to say, “Hey lady, let me tell you why I’m so slow…”

I stop and say, “Only love today.”

As my little girl runs into oncoming preschool car traffic.  Only for me to realize as my follow-the-blessed-rules mode engages that she is looking up not out as she shouts, “THE BIRDS!!!! A response to an awesome Hitchwork-worthy flock soaring above her, making the little guy next to me scream, “WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I stop and laugh and say, “Only love today.”

And it’s right about now that it all hits me.

It’s not three little words that are revolutionizing my day.

It’s one.

LOVE.

Love changes everything.

And I’m not talking about the Hallmark, mushy, sappy, existential baloney kind of love.

I’m talking about the Jesus kind.

The kind that is found within nail-shaped wounds.  The kind that is offered freely, with nothing expected in return.  The kind that makes you stop what you are doing, consumes you and causes you to shout,

“GOD IS SO CRAZY AMAZING!!!!!”

Now that kind of love changes things.

It makes you stand up to the bully within, stop her when she bellows, “Even Jesus could not love this!” and empowers you to say back in confidence:

“Whoa.  Let me give you another three little words, sister. These babies will take your breath away and you’ll see yourself plainly through them even with all your scars and dings and messed-up places…”

So listen carefully as they come.

From the mouth of a child…

From the lips of a Father…

From the heart of the Spirit…

Jesus.

Loves.

Me.

The three little words that really can change it all.

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