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Surprised by Love

By Miles Dostert

As part of our series on the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians, the youth of Christ Church Cranbrook were asked to write a short reflection or story of how they have experienced the fruit of the spirit in their life.  This first installment focuses on Love.

I recently had my 16th birthday, which gave me lots of opportunities to think about love as I reflected on my life and all those who have been a part of it and helped me to be the person I am today.  One such person was my Godmother who surprised me with a birthday phone call.

As she was wishing me a happy birthday, she mentioned that my mom told her how I’ve been taking great interest in the topic of police brutality and racism, and so she had sent me a book called Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.  She went onto explain that Stamped is the story of the history of racism and how we can take a stand against it today.

While I have received many gifts over the years, this one really stood out to me because she it reminded me just how much she loves me.  Rather than just send me a perfunctory birthday gift, or a gift card or a shirt she hoped I might like, she took the time to find out what I was interested in and she took my interests seriously.  For this simple reason, rather than just another birthday gift, I actually saw this gift as an act of unconditional love by my godmother.

Despite the fact that we rarely get a chance to talk, and haven’t seen each other in years, she took the time to give me something that I could truly appreciate and enjoy. This small act of unconditional love made me realize how moments like these can go unnoticed, and how we all need to take the time to recognize unconditional love, and take part in providing others with the same love.

It was also a reminder to me, that when I think about giving gifts to others, what I should really be giving first, is the gift of taking an interest in them; Taking the time to find out what their passions are and how I might support them or lift them up.   How much do I really know about my own friends and family members?  Do I take the time to find out?  And how much more will my gift show my love for them, when I do.