It only takes a spark

Sunday, sang several songs/hymns that have had a lot of meaning for me, among them “It Only Takes A Spark.”  All afternoon, the tune and words ran through my mind, reminding me that it only takes a spark to make a difference in so many areas of life.  Kindness, you see, is contagious.  So is acceptance, smiles, gratitude, forgiveness, and generosity.  We don’t have to accomplish great things in life to make a difference.  Just being a good neighbor, not holding grudges, being gracious while standing in line, saying “thank you” to a sales clerk, and putting a quarter in a stranger’s expired meter can transform another’s life.  As the song says, “it only takes a spark to get a fire going.”  

I suspect one of the gifts of aging lies in being able to recognize that most of the things about which we obsess when younger aren’t really important.  In the end, all that really matters is being there for each other.   Even as I acknowledge the dangers in our current social and political wars, even as I grieve over the decisions made by The Supreme  Court, even as I weep that our nation seems to value guns more than human lives,  even as our churches tend to split over issues of human sexuality, I remain convinced that the solutions to bridging our differences lie in simple acts of kindness and affirmation. of recognizing that the Ten Commandments, for instance, are not about what we should not do but are reminders of what makes for dynamic human interactions.  Being willing to listen without judging.  Standing up for the disenfranchised.  Calling attention to white privilege without demonizing those who are not so enlightened.  Affirming those who are different.  While there will always be those who feel threatened by differences of belief, race, and opinion,  it is up to the rest of us to nurture the sparks of love, hope,  and acceptance.  It won’t always be easy, but in the end, being kind of far easier than being judgmental and rejecting. 

It only takes a spark to get a fire going,

And soon, all those around can warm up in its glowing;

That’s how it is with God’s love, once you’ve experienced it,

You spread his love to everyone; you want to pass it on. 

What a wondrous time is spring, When all the trees are budding.  The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming;

That’s how it is with God’s love, once you’ve experienced it. You want to sing   It’s fresh like spring, you want to pass it on. 

I wish for you my friend, this happiness that I’ve found;

You can depend on him, it matters not where you’re bound,

I’ll shout it from the mountain top I want my world to know;

The Lord of love has come to me, I want to pass it on.

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