I have been mulling over my word for this New Year, waiting for an epiphany. Last year it was Faith, the year before Mercy. Those words chose me.
And so I’ve waited and pondered. Do I choose what I hope to see or do or what I am or was? Or maybe I just skip it this year… Can my word be Tired?
But then in a dark, unlikely place, my word for 2013 found me.
I sat in the movie theater, my sister on one side, my husband on the other. I held my breath at the beauty of Les Miserables on the screen. I’ve heard about this musical my entire life, whispers from Broadway and floating notes from memorable music, but I wasn’t expecting to feel this remarkable story of redemption, grace, adoption so deeply.
I’m not the typical fan of musicals. I prefer talking to singing any day. I also rarely recommend movies.
This epic love story is my redemption story, It’s for every broken person. And whether you read it, see it, or sing it, it’s a story for you.
As I watched a criminal find healing and hope by loving an orphaned child, and as he gave selflessly to her his entire life, I gripped my seat. And then these words found me:
“To Love Another Person is to See the Face of God” – Les Miserables
The truth pierced my heart and in that dark theater with buttered popcorn abounding, I cried.
Because I realized this: The greatest moments in my life have come from loving others. It’s tenderly caring my sick child, selflessly giving to my husband, sponsoring one more child, giving one more dollar to help, making one more meal for another, befriending one more lonely person…
This is when I have seen God.
But I don’t always choose love. Some days I ignore the prodding and I push away the appeal to love. I am selfish and lazy and more human than I want to admit.
I long to see Him, to know Him and loving others is the pathway to God.
My word for 2013 is love.
It’s perhaps the most common word, confused with lust, tangled with like. But to love , to sell your hair or a tooth to feed your hungry child, to take a dying mother’s baby as your own, to offer grace to someone who deserves condemning, to hold your tongue with your spouse, offer grace to your wayward child, to give away money to support someone in need, to love another more than you love yourself, this will lead you to God every time.
I often ignore opportunities to love, to speak softly to my kids, listen closer to my husband, reach out to a hurting friend.
But I’m choosing Love more often.
It’s how we will find God in this New Year.