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By Kelly Burstow

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9

kellyboatsI gazed at the neat rows of boats in the harbour. They were still for the time. What impacted me most wasn’t the neat row of boats, or the cloud-filled sky, or even the majestic masts kissing the sky, it was the reflection of the boats in the water.

A master of capturing reflection was French painter, Claude Monet. In an interview with journalist Thiébault-Sisson in the early 20th century, Monet explained why he painted hundreds of versions of the water lilies in his garden.

The essential of the subject is the mirror of the water whose aspect, at any one time, changes itself thanks to the expanses of sky which is reflect in it, and spreading life and movement.
See 1 & 2 for different translations

monet_smMonet painted approximately 250 different paintings of the same subject: the water lilies in his garden. Each painting is beautiful it its own way, and a reflection of the wonder and depth of nature.

During this busy time of year, I stopped, and was still, like the boats sitting in the water in front of me. I pondered the most beautiful reflection: God’s love fulfilled in Jesus. 1 John 4:9 declares, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” God showed His love to us by sending Jesus to grow and be among us, ultimately redeeming us. Jesus’ life is an incredible example of living as a reflection of God. What then is my response to this example? As followers of Jesus, what can our response be to this demonstration of love? Our response to this incredible gift and example must be, can only be, a reflection of love. Below are three ways – as a mother, a wife, a woman – I aim to reflect God’s love in my every day.

Be Compassionate

Compassion breeds patience, and I think for me, as a mother, patience is what I often struggle with the most. That is why I aim to reflect love by replacing impatience and annoyance with compassion. As much as it is hard for me, this has been a defining factor in deepening the relationships I have with my children, husband and others. Jesus saw people as individuals. He saw their needs and their hurt. When you see people with Jesus’ eyes, patience becomes easier.

May I reflect the same compassion that breeds kindness and gentleness and patience.

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Practice Giving

The gift of giving is often featured at Christmas time. We give to those we love and the less fortunate. However, I am challenged to adopt giving to my attitude in every day life. Perhaps the best verse to reflect this quality is found in Luke 6:30. “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” When I give anything, if that is lending a dress, or meal in a casserole dish, or my time, I practice giving without strings. Giving at Christmas is a wonderful celebration of God’s gift in Jesus. Even more so, embracing giving in our attitude is a reflection of God’s transforming love.

May I reflect a generosity of spirit that stores up heaven’s treasure.

Reflect God Through You

One of the most exciting things about emulating God’s love is how wonderfully God has made each one of us (“I know that full well” Psalm 139:14), and how He works through and transforms us. Is there a more humbling thought? I take comfort in knowing the Bible is full of different personalities; there’s outspoken Peter, reluctant Moses, unsure Gideon and busy Martha. The first exciting truth is knowing our steadfast God can use and transform us, despite our humanness. And the second, wonderful-wonderful thing is the demonstration of how God’s reflection through His ones is as varied and as beautiful as Monet demonstrates in his hundreds of lily paintings. In this way, we can celebrate the beauty of others without jealousy, and live in quiet confidence, embracing God’s transforming work in our lives as we reflect His beauty.

May I reflect God’s transforming glory through the wonderful way He made me.

“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;” Romans 12:4-6

Next time you see a your reflection in a mirror, or the sway of the trees in a window, or the sun set over the water, take a moment to be still and revel in the wonder and manifestation of light around. May we, in the same way, be a beautiful living reflection of God’s love through us, today.

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