Psalm 55; Deut. 11: 18-28; Heb. 5: 1-10; John 4: 1-26
Lent is special to me, because it’s a time to renew friendships and to reflect on the time I’ve given to family and friends, those in need, the church, and the community – and to ask myself whether I have done enough in “the living years” to express my love and appreciation, to praise and thank God that those people are all a part of my life.
There are certain times in our lives when the words “I love you” are the most important words one can express. Growing up, we were an affectionate family, but not in a verbal sense. Neither one of my parents was brought up using “I love you” as a daily expression of affection. My experience as a child led me to be quite the opposite with my own family, sharing love, affection, and devotion.
One evening just before my father died, I had a very strong urge to call him. My parents were living in Limerick, Pennsylvania, and I lived in Southern California at the time. When he came to the phone, his voice was very weak. He told me he was having pain, so I tried to comfort him and felt such a deep love for him that I blurted out, “I love you, Daddy!” Somehow I knew it would be the last time I would speak to him. I waited for his reply, hoping he would respond in the same way. He said, “Same here, Janet,” which at the time was comforting, and helped so much in my sorrow when we learned that he was in a coma. My sister and I arrived at the hospital the next day, but he never regained consciousness. I thank God I had the opportunity to tell him I loved him, but I always felt sad because he couldn’t bring himself to say those three very important words, “I love you,” that we all need to hear in “the living years.”
While talking to Father Lane after church a few months after his arrival, I had the opportunity to give him a bit of constructive advice. He thanked me and as I walked away, I said, “I love you, Fr. Lane.” Without hesitation he replied, “I love you, too!” Needless to say, I hope he realizes how much his reply meant to me then and always will.
1 John 4:7 – “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth Him.”
Jan Leigh has been a member of St Margaret’s for several years, and an active member for three years. She belongs to the Wednesday Morning Prayer Group, volunteers at Maggie’s Corner, and attends most of the classes offered at St. Margaret’s, especially those given by Fathers Dan and Troy.