A friend of mine shared this thought recently about Brother Lawrence. It seemed that when it came to love…and caring for others, Brother Lawrence said it this way, ” “It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.” A more modern way of saying this may be “because of our love for God, we will remove a stick from a path so someone will not trip over it.” A simple act of caring may be something that only you know that you did, but God knows and that is what matters.
Who was Brother Lawrence? Born in 1611 and died in 1691, the Christian History gives us this account of him:
“Brother Lawrence began life as Nicholas Herman, born to peasant parents in Lorraine, France. As a young man, his poverty forced him into joining the army, and thus he was guaranteed meals and a small stipend. During this period, Herman had an experience that set him on a unique spiritual journey; it wasn’t, characteristically, a supernatural vision, but a supernatural clarity into a common sight.
In the deep of winter, Herman looked at a barren tree, stripped of leaves and fruit, waiting silently and patiently for the sure hope of summer abundance.
Gazing at the tree, Herman grasped for the first time the extravagance of God’s grace and the unfailing sovereignty of divine providence. Like the tree, he himself was seemingly dead, but God had life waiting for him, and the turn of seasons would bring fullness. At that moment, he said, that leafless tree “first flashed in upon my soul the fact of God,” and a love for God that never ceased to burn.
Sometime later, an injury forced his retirement from the army, and after a stint as a footman, he sought a place where he could suffer for his failures. He thus entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Paris as Brother Lawrence.
He was assigned to the monastery kitchen where, amidst the tedious chores of cooking and cleaning at the constant bidding of his superiors, he developed his rule of spirituality and work. In his Maxims, Lawrence writes, “Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of Him?”
SIMPLICITY in faith…try it today. Look at the smallest details of your life. It may be making a bed. Do it for God and make it the best it has ever looked. It may be mowing the yard…as unto God. Take notice of the flower that has just bloomed over night. Make your “Good morning” and a smile…a special one for someone you love. Let the sometime boredom of a job be the best because you have faith in Christ who wants you to be your best at whatever you are doing.
Taking a nap may not seem like something we do for God…yet He has told us that our bodies are the “temple of the Holy Spirit”..and we must care for it. You health may be in need of it from the stresses of life…so take that nap for Him.
For your listening pleasure…and as unto God.