“Your sister really loves you,” a friend said after I told her about my trip to Gatineau, Quebec to visit my sister and her family. During that week I was touched again by Sylvia’s generosity and thoughtfulness. From buying my airplane ticket to arranging hikes and bicycle rides, to moving and cleaning a couch for our niece, she displayed God’s hands and heart.
I felt deliciously spoiled. I also felt humbled and saw where I needed to grow. Yet, I knew I couldn’t make this happen any more than I could make myself grow taller.
As I pondered this, I remembered some wise counsel by a Jesuit priest. In essence he said that if we want to become more Christlike, we need to ask God for more love. The more love we are given, the more freedom we will have to live generously and thoughtfully.
That’s what God was already doing! Over the years, God heard the child in me, like a hungry Oliver, holding up my heart like an empty bowl and saying, “Please sir, I want some more.” And God has filled it–again and again.
Receiving God’s love, given in a myriad of ways, creates a spaciousness that opens me to others. So I find that when God shows me small ways to be generous or thoughtful, I’m more able to respond. I don’t do it to get anything, because I don’t need anything. God’s love is more than enough. I’ve always known that theoretically, but God is bringing this message to the distant places in my soul that only hoped it was true.
Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this is sufficient for me. —Ignatius Loyola
JoAnna Rickard started Knits for Pits in January 2015 to help raise money for HugABull Rescue and Advocacy. She writes, “My little dog, Chia, is the inspiration behind everything I do. I want to make sure that all dog owners can find housing and feel safe travelling without fear of having their dogs taken away and euthanized just because of their breed. Heidi Braacx has helped my dream of being able to help animals without harming them with her amazing vegan yarn. I’m so grateful I’ve been able to combine my two passions of knitting and dogs!”