Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Matthew 22:37-39
A message I read earlier today really touched my heart. It was a reminder that being a Christian, being a Christian, not saying that I’m a Christian, means putting Christ first. It means breaking down the strongholds and losing the idols. I responded to that message by going into a moment of prayer for that exact stance in my life. I prayed that God will always come first, reign supreme for me, own my heart and that after that will come my sweet husband, other people, whatever service God draws me toward and eventually, me.
That prayer reminded me of my newest precious friend Samah. Samah is incredibly expressive. When she tells me stories of what she did over the weekend or the evening before most of them include the cast list for the event. “I get ice cream with my daddy, my mommy, my brother and my sister. And me!” Although she adds herself, “and me” with great enthusiasm she always lists herself last. Having spent the last several weeks getting to know her and then meeting her family I do believe the list is in order of importance. “My daddy” could also be identified as my hero, the eighth wonder of the world. “My mommy” as Samah sees it, is also the woman everyone in the world should want to pamper. Samah is always telling me about the things that she and her daddy do for mommy. “My brother and my sister” are listed in one breath and I believe that is because one day her brother is her favorite and the next it’s her sister. Then there’s the detail that stood out to me this morning. “And me” is spoken with a big finish feel to it. This is a child with great confidence. She’s beautiful, funny, loving and well loved and she knows it. I’ve teased for a week or so that her list reminds me of the famous George M. Cohan sign off line. “My father thanks you, my mother thanks you, my sister thanks you and I thank you.” George also listed himself last but from the little I know of him, I do not believe it was out of the same precious humility as Samah.
Samah’s list gave me a great example for how to pray and how to live, my God, my husband, the rest of my family, my friends, any other people God sends into my day and me. It takes the two directives from Jesus to love God and your neighbor and makes them real. If I pray and then live under those guidelines I will the person I want to be, the happy little foot washing servant of God. In being that person I will find great joy and great satisfaction.