home | back
A Gift of Love
© Dave Ferruolo
Yesterday was a great day. It was one of those ‘once in a while’ days when you feel totally connected with Heaven and Earth. I was existing totally in the moment, and completely detached form all past and present stresses. I felt as if I were floating on a cloud. But that is not what made the day so special. No, you see, yesterday I spent the entire day with my 4 ½ year old son, and he showed me something that we all sometimes forget—that love, in it’s pure form, is the power of the universe, and that no matter what is happening in your life, love can make it all better.
The day started out as many do. I woke early and wrote for a while. I let our dog out and refreshed her food and water bowl. I straightened the living room and did last night’s dinner dishes. Everything was all so normal. I finally heard the bouncing up and down on the bed from the second floor of the house. I knew my little buddy was up, so I brought him a drink of milk. We exchanged our mooring ‘I love yous’ and hugs. He asked if he could play in his room for a while, and I agreed.
The day was shaping up nicely. It was eight o’clock and not a cloud in the sky. It was about 65 degrees, but the heat of the sun was quickly warming the earth. It was going to be beautiful. I sat at my desk and connected to the internet, as I do most mornings. I checked to see if I had any email; I didn’t. I then went to view the morning’s news headlines. The Katrina aftermath and the price of gas topped the headlines, once again. Sadness swept over me, and I became a bit worried about the state of our great country and all the people living with loss and sadness. So many struggles, so much loss, so much pain. I sat in quite contemplation for a while, until the silence was broken… “Can we go for a hike in the woods, Daddy?” my son asked with a huge smile on his face. “Sure, buddy,” I replied, and after a good breakfast, I packed him and our Aussie into the truck and off we went.
Gazing at the gas prices, as I drove towards our hiking destination, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. How could many Americans on fixed budgets deal with this rising cost. I started to worry about my ability to sustain my household. As the fear of the unknown crept into my mind’s thoughts, I slowed down—to conserve gas, of course. This is crazy I thought, and I thanked God for everything I had in my life. I remembered John 16:15 “All things that the Father hath are mine,” and Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”
But in these troubled times, seeking anything spiritual is sometimes a task, as we try to cope with the world’s massive losses of the past few years, form incidents like 9/11 the Tsunami and hurricane Katrina. Not to mention where do we find the extra wallet full of money to fill our gas tanks to get the kids to school and drive back and fourth to work.
The essence of the beautiful day escaped my grasp, as these thoughts clouded my head. Finally we arrived at the trailhead. I love being in nature and so does my son. We hit the trail, with our Aussie leading the way. I was silent and slightly detached thinking about the world, but my son was quite the opposite. ‘Chatter Box’, is the best way to describe him. He was rambling on and on and on, about nothing really. Talking about frogs and salamanders, and the squirrels in the trees. He was asking me question after question about our woodsy surroundings. I started talking with him, answering all his questions, as we made our way to the summit.
My mood lightened a bit, as I enjoyed this time with my boy. I love being with him. He’s so eager and innocent and ready to explore the wonders of the world. Wide-eyed and smiling all the time, I can’t help but be in a good mood when he is around. As we made our way up the steep section of this particular trail, he had some troubles. I let him figure out the path on his own, only briefly suggesting where he should put his feet and hands. As we came to the top of the small rock ledge, he said; “I think we are lost, Daddy,” Then excitedly exclaimed; “Look, a blue line on the tree. “This way, Daddy. This way—come on.” I told him what a great hiker he is and thanked him for finding the way… Then it happened.
There was a brief silence as he walked towards the tree with the painted blue trail marker on it. I was happy, but still in the back of my mind was worried and uneasy about ‘life.” Then, at that moment, my 4-½ year old son turned to me, out of the blue, and said; “I love you, Daddy!” He rushed to my side and gave me a huge hug and kissed my cheek. My heart suddenly melted and I started to cry. “I love you Daddy,” rang through my mind and suddenly the stresses of the world did not affect me any longer. I was elated, and felt as if I ascended instantly to the lands of Heaven. “I love you Daddy,” with those simple words, life, with all of its pitfalls, horrors, plights and dangers was magnificent! Love really is the answer, for no matter what would of or could of happened to me at that moment, I was basking in the light of love, and everything was okay.
John 4:12 says “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” I, at that moment, felt the perfection of God’s love within me. And it all seems so clear. Love God, love yourself, love one another and love the earth and you will find the Kingdom of Heaven…
So today I wake and give thanks for everything I have and the love, which is in my life. The headlines are still filled with sullen words of Katrina and the death toll. Gas seems to have stabilized, for the moment, and the sun again warms my back yard. But today my outlook is different. Today I live with love, compassion and gratitude, and not stress and dissonance. What is the difference from yesterday? Love.