Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Adding, Not Subtracting

It's my last day at home with my mother in Alabama. Before we started our day, as is our custom, we sat at the breakfast table and talked for awhile.  I told her I had been thinking so much about my dad on this trip...the feeling of him around us in the house is still palpable to me...and considering what I think is his great legacy to us.

Adding, not subtracting.

My dad was known for his charisma, his intelligence, and his humor to be sure.
But most importantly, he was known for adding...
Adding joy...
Adding grace...
Adding enthusiasm...
Adding support...
Adding prayer...
Adding wisdom...
Adding, never subtracting, from any challenge, event, function, relationship.

I know my own shortcomings - as you all know, I often blog about them here - 
and I know the qualities on which I need to work.
Sometimes in my humanity...the very core of my being...I subtract.
But I endeavor to live a life adding, not subtracting, just as my father did.
It is my greatest aspiration.

When I was about to turn in last night - and yes, I was using my father's old bedroom - 
I couldn't sleep and looked for some reading material.
There by his bedside was a tome entitled, "Christlikeness" written in the 1950's.
It held a prominent place by his nightstand 
so I know it held some sort of significance for him.
I turned to the first page and printed there, a poem by the author leapt out at me,
confirming my desire and my father's intent in his attitude. 

"Christlike in my words and actions,
Christlike in my mind and heart;
All my life reflecting Jesus
And the sweetness of His heart.
May His sweetness, love and patience
Find in me a counterpart,
As I paint His Lovely image
on the canvas of my heart.

Christlike in my work and study
Done for Him with purest love,
Walking hand in hand with Jesus,
Seeking but the things above.
Christlike in my love for Mary,
His dear mother and my own,
Simple, docile, like the Christ child,
In His humble, earthly home.

May I grow more like my Master,
Each new day God gives me here,
Till His glorious, radiant Image
Shines through me, full, strong and clear.
Rich in virtues, full of merits,
Sharing in His life and grace,
Oh what glory to be like Him
When I meet Him face to face!"

- Sister M. Victorine

I want to be Christlike....
In intent and pursuit...
In work and in play...
In  interaction and relationship.
I want to add,
just like Christ did,
from the colorful wonders painted by the Master Artist on the canvas of my heart.

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