Not long ago a close friend celebrated a milestone birthday. Reaching milestones often leaves us thinking and my friend commented on wanting to make a difference in the world in the time that remains. They asked how I thought best to do that and, I must admit, I wasn't quite sure how to answer. It's not that I don't have any ideas, it's just that I wasn't sure how to answer this particular individual.
I'm reading Max Lucado's "A Love Worth Giving" for the second time in less than a year. Deep inside I believe love is the answer to making a difference. “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12) It's what made the difference in my family when I was growing up. My parents loved us, they loved their friends and neighbors, and they loved our friends. Fifty years later the children who played with my brothers as little boys would recall how "special" my parents made them feel. One person after another at my dad's memorial service would tell me "Your dad always made me feel special." There were similar stories when it came to Mom.
Loving people isn't always easy, but love always comes on the very top of the list of things God calls us to. "Without love," He says, "we are nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:2) and not only that, we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. 'For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”' (Galatians 5:14) It's a tall order, but I still believe it's what makes the difference.