I looked in the mirror this morning and suddenly I saw my Daddy's eyes smiling back at me. "Interesting," I thought, "I didn't know I had his very same eyes until I got older." It felt like a blessing, a little visit from my father, now two-years gone from me. His eyes were green, but what made them special was the little flecks of gold that always danced around like sparks in a fire. "Yes, there they are!" I exclaimed to myself. The fiery flecks, dancing in my own eyes.
In our recent congregational visit from Prophetess Phyllis Ford I got really touched by her admonition to us that we spend time and effort breaking generational curses, but neglect to celebrate generational blessings. This whole past week was a most profound illustration of generational blessings in my own life, and I moved through the week experiencing and celebrating these blessings as never before. My daughter is the high school choir teacher in our town, and she spends her week days at the big grand piano in the music room, teaching the kids their parts, accompanying their songs, and taking them from simply singing the songs to performing them with power and passion. On the weekends she is the worship leader at her church, using her great gifts of music and faith to lead a gathered people to the Throne Room of God.
She was out all last week to recover from a surgery so I substituted for all her high school classes, and had the unspeakable joy of singing and playing piano all week long, often surrounded on all sides by the voices of these young, enthusiastic music students. It was while I was enveloped in the music this past week that I began to realize what Phyllis was trying to show us. There really are blessings running down through our DNA that we need to be thankful for, and celebrate! My mother was a piano major in college and a school teacher. For most of my growing-up years there was classical piano music filling our home, Her mother was a music teacher, who spent many hours in her living room singing and rehearsing songs to teach her students. My mother-in-law was an organist and worship leader at her church all of her life, and so both she and my mom accompanied my singing engagements and church solos throughout my young years. So, BOTH of my daughter's grandmothers were talented musicians, and my daughter also majored in piano and music education,
Last week as I sat at the piano and worked with the high school kids, two of my daughter's children - my 17-year-old granddaughter and my 15-year-old grandson - were in the show choir, their voices rising powerfully in soprano and tenor parts. My heart felt like it was going to burst with a joy I had not felt for a very long time. The blessings continue on - from great-great grandmother to great-grandmother to grandmother to mother, the DNA sings and the music flows. The blood carries blessings that still bless and creative gifts that still create.
Thank You, Father, that I am not cutting generational curses, but basking in the gifts of generational blessings.
Unconditional love is a term we throw around rather casually. Yet I am learning that if we are endeavoring to truly live this way - in unconditional love, the way Yeshua taught it to us - we had better be prepared for and willing to accept the consequences and the likelihood that we will receive nothing in return. At least not in this life!
Webster's Dictionary defines the word unconditional this way: not limited by conditions; absolute; complete.
No conditions, no strings attached. Nothing expected in return. Yeshua teaches it this way:
12 “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14)
So we who follow His teachings are instructed to show love, concern, care and hospitality to those who cannot repay us, expecting nothing in return. This would be a "complete" love, a heart satisfied that our love was really given unto God, and whether or not it was appreciated by the person we blessed, does not matter. We blessed the Lord.
Author Jim Hale puts it this way: "I suppose the greatest lesson of love is that love is its own reward. Whether our thoughts, words, prayers, or actions are received by others or not, love brings us closer to God. In truth, when we are rejected while loving others, we are never nearer to God's great heart."
My husband and I have extended love, care, concern and a great deal of energy to quite a number of people the past few years, who not only rejected this love and care, but actually retaliated in one way or another. In every one of these situations, we opened our homes and our hearts to family members or believing brothers and sisters, pouring out the Love of Messiah as we were led by the Spirit, only to be betrayed, rejected, and in some cases verbally and physically attacked. It finally left us feeling wounded and somewhat jaded about whether we should continue in this walk of "unconditional love"! But in my process of seeking the Lord about what all this meant, I ran across a quote by Mother Teresa that answered my questions and soothed my aching heart. May it comfort you also, brothers and sisters, if you are feeling betrayed and rejected by others. It was never between you and them anyway!
And in the end, being betrayed, rejected and attacked by your own is the very picture of our Savior! "When we are rejected while loving others - we are never nearer to God's great heart."
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway!
Kelly Ferrari Mills