So there is this kid I know, not mine, just a younger person, about half my age. He seems to struggle with what he wants to have, what does he not want, in life. He is a lot like a kite in the wind, being blown in one direction and then another. I am surprised by my feelings of frustration when I think about this kid. At the same time, it breaks my heart; he does not have an anchor to hold him steady.
It doesn’t make sense to expect someone without an anchor, something or someone to balance him, to make wise choices. To decide to live a life with purpose and intentionality. In my frustration I want to scold and chastise this “kid” for not knowing better. It’s usually at this time, I also hear a whisper, “But I love him. He is just as lost as you once were. Don’t forget my death was for him, just as much as it was for you.”
Another person I know and struggle with in my life is an older lady. She isn’t my mom, but she is old enough she could be my mom. This second person spends much of her time trying to fit everyone she knows into a box. She holds many preconceived notions about a person based on his or her life decisions. I do not know many people who want to be categorized, I know I do not.
I find myself battling again with my emotions, wanting to shake this lady by the shoulders for trying to put people into boxes and crying because she does not understand the love God has for her. Then in my ear I hear a whisper, “I love her, just like I love you.”
So here I sit. I could stay frustrated with these people. The fact that I refer to them as “these people” means, I too, have categorized them into something different than me. Then the question I need to ask is, Why can’t I muster my own kindness to show love to someone for whom Christ died? What is causing the blockage in my own heart that prevents me from allowing God to love them through me?
I have often said, we may be the only Jesus people see. Am I representing Him well? Am I leaving a bad taste in someone’s mouth because of the Jesus I show, instead of the Jesus He really is? This is the ultimate self assessment I want to avoid, instead of embrace.
Beth Moore recently wrote the book, Audacious, (B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, TN). The title alone makes me want to smile, as I imagine someone saying it with great emphasis: Aw-DEY-shuhs. Over the top, excessive, incredible, almost indescribable. That is the way she describes God’s love for us.
Quoting Hebrews 4:16 she reminded me that the love and grace I have received from God has given me permission to approach Him with boldness, (audaciously, courageously) because I am His child. His amazing love for me is the same amazing love He feels for the “kid” and the “lady.” So if my struggle is how to love them, then maybe I need to take a look at the love God has for me?
To audaciously love, we must- to the last atom in our DNA- believe that we are audaciously loved (p. 41).
Ohh. As Hamlet said, “There’s the rub,” (III, i, 9).
How can I audaciously love someone in the name of God, if I cannot accept His audacious love for me?
I know that God loves me. I know Christ died for me. I know I am forgiven because I have accepted my salvation through His death and resurrection. I know this truth. Somewhere along the line, I forgot to live it out loud. To live it out courageously. To live it out with indescribable joy and gratitude. To remember that God’s love for me isn’t something that should be kept quiet. It should be trumpeted, roared – like Aslan before the battle with the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
If God’s love is as amazing as I believe it to be, then it is time to live it. How can I expect others to believe in His love for them, when I am not?
Best Beloved, Easter Sunday– the most important day on a believer’s calendar– is just a few weeks away. It’s time to believe it. To live it, to love others with it. Time to face the blocks that are keeping you from believing it.
It’s time to live, to love, to share His love aw-DEY-shus-ly!!