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Loving Others is Never Wasted

The bell on the door chimed as I entered the local florist shop to purchase a bouquet of flowers. The aroma of fresh cut stems filled the air and graced the floor in the area where arrangements were carefully put together by skilled hands. It was a time when many local small businesses were struggling to stay afloat, a side effect of the pandemic plaguing the world at large. Sadly, I knew it wasn’t the case for this shop. Instead, the local florists were bombarded with business. Daily orders of arrangements for funerals kept the shop afloat. The virus was still sweeping through the world, claiming lives, and stealing all sense of normalcy from us.

Trying to choose the perfect mix, I peered through the glass encasing the selection of fresh stems. An array of lovely roses, Gerber daisies, a rainbow of carnations, and pastel hydrangeas caught my eye. This was no ordinary bouquet I was choosing. It was for a co-worker celebrating a significant milestone in her life. Seven years of sobriety. Seven years on the other side of an addiction, that at one time, she couldn’t even go seven minutes without thinking about. It was a joyful day. A celebration of her life and recovery, unlike so many caught in the web of addiction, who likely wouldn’t make it out.

The road to addiction is long and winding, and it's often filled with heartbreak and setbacks. It can be brutal and wearisome for loved ones who are bystanders. Endless pleading in prayer, and begging for their loved one's strength to enter recovery. Longing for them to leave the addictive lifestyle behind, before it’s too late.

There are no lost causes when it comes to people. That can be difficult to believe. At times relationships can be messy and complicated. And let’s face it, people can be so hard to love, myself included. Anytime flawed human beings are involved (which is all the time), there will likely be some degree of difficulty in the interactions.

My husband declared something the other day that felt profound, and a lot like something Jesus would say. “Whenever we feel like pushing someone away, that is often the time to actually draw them near,” he said. This feels contrary to my emotions when encountering challenges in my various relationships. When dealing with the difficulties in my marriage. When a co-worker and I don’t communicate well, and