The Gift Of One Another

With my sister, Shelley, on a planned get-away.The Gift

My sister, “seester,” is twelve years younger than I am.  Even though she was starting school when I left for college, even though I live in Oregon and she lives over 1,000 miles away in Southern California, and, even though our daily life is much different from one another, we are deeply committed and connected to one another.   It’s not easy.   Distance, whether it’s physical, emotional, or spiritual, is difficult and often destructive in all kinds of relationships.  I’ve come to realize to bridge the gap of distance we need to be intentional in how we relate to one another in words and actions through the gift of love.


Words are either of life or death.  When we speak life into one another, focused on the greatest outcome, intentionally using good and kind words, we are giving the best of the best to each other.  And.  The thing most powerful when we speak to one another. . . is truth . . . with the belief that truth matters.  Truth is not always easy to give or receive; however, we will not be healthy without it.

We’ve learned when we hide the truth, being less than honest because it seems easier not to face it, that we will  demean and maybe even destroy our relationship.

Truth is so important that Jesus identified himself as truth.

Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”  (John 14:6a, NCV).

Part of speaking the truth, is speaking from a big picture perspective, a place where we keep the end in mind, believing God has a purpose for one another, encouraging the other to go beyond the stuff  of life, to stay true to the Truth.

Shelley was a primary encourager to myself and my family when I went back to school to get my Masters of Divinity. She called me several times a week, speaking words of life, telling me I could do it when I did not think I could. 

I’ve also learned how important it’s for us to be present for one another, a gift that requires some doing on our part, whether it’s someone we live with or someone that lives far away.   My sister and I have made the commitment to see each other as well as to talk as often as possible.  We need to actively love one another.  So many times we look for something to make our life matter, when all the time what matters is loving one another.   I can tell you that a whole bunch of people I have met do not feel love.

Active Love

When you get down to it, the greatest gift to give one another is active love. Jesus said:

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John: 13: 34-35, NLT).

And . . . wow . . . when we actively love one another as Christ loves us . . . the whole world sees we are following Christ.  I’ve seen it–in my sister’s life. There just can’t be anything better.

I counsel many people who find themselves separated from those they love because they have allowed everything, and anything, to distract them from what’s really important.  But.  The people who have taught me the most about this lesson, are those in their last few hours of life, the ones who have deep regret for not paying attention to what was most important, distracted by things that in the end did not matter.

Finishing With One Another

I want to finish my life with others knowing how important they were to me through love, just like my sister, Shelley, has done in my life.

In the last few months of 2011, I was told more than once, that I had a high risk of dying on any given day.  And, you know what I thought about?   The gift of one another . . . which, comes with the opportunity to intentionally speak and act in love.  And, this, my friends and family, is truly what life is about.

Before the day ends, I want to speak life with words of truth, to make sure others know they are important to me, and above all, I want to make sure they know I love them with a love that will not die.  It changes the world.

More later . . . Kerrie

My seester and family made one of the most important days of my life, ordination (May 2009), memorable because they were present with love: Nancy (sister-in-law), Tiffany, Tricia, Me, Shelley, Brianna (niece), and Natalie (niece).

Also see: 

(written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)


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