Bonds of Love -- By Joseph J. Mazzella

"And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matt 22:39 NIV)

My neighbor that lives just down the hill from me has "adopted" the family that lives across the road from her. She joyously calls their children her grandchildren and the mother and father her son and daughter. Watching them together touches my heart and lights up my soul. They share more than just cookies and chores together too. They share closeness, caring, laughter, tears, goodness, and love. They are a true family through both tough times and tender moments. They show me daily that the bonds of love are greater even than the bonds of blood and that we truly are one family in this world.

How glorious this Earth would be if only everyone followed their example. Wars would disappear overnight. Not a single child would go unfed. Joyous laughter would replace angry shouts. Hitting would turn into hugging. Smiles would sail from face to face, heart to heart, and soul to soul. Everyone would feel the love of God flowing through their hearts and through the hearts of their neighbors. And everywhere you would look you would see the shining eyes of another Child of God and member of your family.

Don’t be afraid then to build the bonds of love. Don’t be afraid to share yourself with others. You may even find yourself "enlarging your family" as you invite your fellow Children of God into your heart, soul, and life. After all, we were meant to love. We were meant to share joy. We were meant to give kindness to everyone we meet. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said: "Let noone ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile." That is how my wonderful neighbor and her "adopted" family live and that is how I hope to live as well. May the same be true for you.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

* Joe Mazzella is a writer and mental Health worker who lives in the mountains of West Virginia with his 3 children, 6 dogs, and 4 cats. He appreciates hearing from his readers: