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Friday, October 12, 2012

Grand Gestures

Clanc-meister turns six today
My mom’s cat, Clanci (whom I affectionately call Clanc-meister), turns six today. I plan to make a big deal out of it, complete with a little cake and a birthday card.

Why do I even know when Clanci’s birthday is and why go to so much trouble for an animal that won’t have a clue why we are singing “Happy Birthday”?

Because making a grand gesture toward Clanci – the cat who keeps my mom company during her routines – will make Mom smile, and laugh.

She will say we are both nuts, and that Clanci is spoiled. And I’ll agree. We’ll enjoy some cake, take a few photos, talk about our favorite Clanci moments and cement another shared memory.

We’ve gone through this routine in the past, but I never really saw it as a grand gesture until I watched the movie Due Date (see the previous post). Peter, who wasn’t all that fond of Ethan early in the storyline, convinces Ethan to toss his father’s ashes into the Grand Canyon by saying, “He deserves a grand gesture.”

Peter didn’t mean Ethan’s father had done anything special to merit a grand gesture, even though he probably had. Instead, he was saying Ethan’s father deserved a grand gesture simply because he was Ethan’s father.

Grand gestures are rooted in love, in the verb sense of the word. It is easy to use the word “love” as a noun – a strong emotional feeling toward someone or something. But using the word as a verb is much more powerful because it shows us what that strong emotional feeling looks like.

Romans 12:10 is a great example.The writer says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” In context, the writer is referring to fellow believers in Rome, but the principle still applies – one way of loving one another with brotherly affection is to outdo one another in showing honor.

We can honor one another in hundred different ways – birthday celebrations, anniversary celebrations, cards and letters, a phone call on the anniversary of the death of a loved one, flowers, gifts, plaques, certificates, toasts, an invitation to meet for coffee to celebrate an accomplishment and yes, sometimes even buying someone’s cat a birthday cake.

Most grand gestures are simple to pull off. Sometimes though, I get so caught up in my own life that I forget to do the little thing for someone else. Maybe you do too. But God’s mercies are new every morning.


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