exposed: my faux way of love

I want to write today about something that I’ve known for a while, because the reality of this in our world and culture in particular (and my own life) just keeps becoming more obvious and heart-breaking to me.  This is the idea that many of us have that we are loving others, when unbeknownst (that’s a crazy word) to us, we are doing just the opposite.

I’m going to share how the reality of true love became confused with something so close to the truth, that it’s nearly impossible to grasp the difference…but in fact it makes       ALL      THE     DIFFERENCE.

The idea was that the gospel message of Jesus Christ is love, and therefore, sharing this message with another person is the most loving thing that I can do.  So I attempted to do just this..to make my life about telling people this message, this beautiful message of Jesus love, life, death, and resurrection…and it is beautiful.  But here is what happened…I’d enter conversations with people, and listen to what they had to say…to them sharing their lives, fears, etc, but I wouldn’t really hear them.  Why?  Well, because regardless of their situation, I knew what they needed…and it was to hear the gospel message of Jesus.  Why?  Well, it’s what everyone needs.  Now I don’t want to say that a message as profound as that should ever be able to become generic…but can’t it??
Actually, I suppose the heart of the message itself never became generic, but my heart did..my treatment of people did…and eventually I could tell.  I could tell, because it didn’t matter how often I spoke the words of the message…there was still something empty inside of me.  But what’s the issue with this?  Why does this happen, when we’re talking about the beautiful message of Jesus?

Maybe it’s all the talking, and never hearing

Maybe it’s the talking, but never experiencing…

Maybe it’s the talking, but never truly connecting with another…

It strikes me that there was nothing generic about Jesus and his life.  He used so many unique stories to communicate, he spoke uniquely into peoples’ situations, and sometimes he said nothing…but rather spoke with a touch, washing dirty feet, a look, or staying silent…and he listened..and he heard..and he wept

What if real love sometimes means shutting up? (I SO need to learn this still…over..and over…and over…)

What if it means sitting in the pain and brokenness with another…just sitting in it..together…weeping..together…

What if it means not having all of the answers…holding a hand, wiping tears, washing feet, staying silent…

Can not the grace of Jesus be experienced this way???  Is this not the actual manifestation of the beautiful message?

I’m not sure a message, in and of itself, ever changed someone.  No, not experiencing a message, but experiencing Jesus himself…a living and breathing encounter with Jesus..with love….with grace…  If anything ever changed me, it is this, it is the reality of Him

…Because God is not merely a message about love..  Please God forgive me for ever minimizing you to this…because you are   so    much     more…so much more for me and for the rest of creation.  You are not just a message about love…

YOU       ARE       LOVE.  The embodiment of the perfection of love, poured out in it’s perfect expression on Calvary.

And we are invited into a real living and breathing relationship with THIS…with Him…and when we experience that, when we’re touched by it, then we can’t help but enter into more authentic relationships with others…because that is God’s nature…He’s relational and desires relationship…intimate, personal relationship…IT’S ANYTHING BUT GENERIC!  And when we know Him, then his intimate relational nature is in us and with us… and the world may experience this incredible LOVE in a personal, unique way, through just being in our presence…through relationship.

Doesn’t it make sense that people will experience the reality of a restored relationship with God through RELATIONSHIP with us, who are already in relationship with Him?

But what’s even more beautiful to me, is that often in having a real heart connection with another, whether they profess to know this God or not, I am touched…I am reminded of the beauty of humanity…the beauty of relationship…and somehow God uses these encounters to expand my view of him..of love…and I pray I’d let this happen more…that I’d get over myself and my pride…so that God can continue to meet me in these unexpected places…

This seems almost abstract…but it also makes sense to me…and I trust it’s God’s heart.  But how to live like this… I suppose it’s what we spend our lives learning and living into… and there’s grace in all of it (because we so desperately need it)…the entire journey is grace…being given grace, receiving it, giving it, sitting in it, walking in it…living in it…
What do you think?

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5 thoughts on “exposed: my faux way of love”

  1. I LOVE this! Specifically this line: “No, not experiencing a message, but experiencing Jesus himself…a living and breathing encounter with Jesus..with love….with grace…” It is true. Our God is LIVING, therefore we can know Him, and not just the idea of Him! Love it! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Joy. It’s amazing how this reality has made such a difference in my life…the difference has been literally experiencing LIFE…rather than, like you said, just having the idea of it in my head. This reality has made even the mundane become something sacred in my life. Thanks for your comment.

  2. …”But what’s even more beautiful to me, is that often in having a real heart connection with another, whether they profess to know this God or not, I am touched…I am reminded of the beauty of humanity…the beauty of relationship…and somehow God uses these encounters to expand my view of him..of love…and I pray I’d let this happen more…that I’d get over myself and my pride…so that God can continue to meet me in these unexpected places…”

    AMEN.

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