I got an email a couple weeks back telling me my writing assignment was on a FOUR letter word…
My first thought was: “Great, how am I going to write something non-cliché on a topic that has been hijacked by Hallmark and overused by Justin Bieber?”
But the more I got to thinking about it the more I realized that love has somehow become more of a noun than a verb in our society. Almost all songs are written about “it” and everyone from 13 to 92 years of age goes around longing for “it”.
Yet, we don’t see it much in the world around us—there is some massive disconnect for what we yearn for and how you and I act in everyday life.
Just the other day I was at a coffee shop when this man, whom I am sure was battling his own issues as we all do from time to time yelled at the barista because she forgot to add milk to his drink—you would have thought she stole his child, wrecked his car and robbed his house. While he ended up getting his cappuccino order correct, he also ruined some poor college kids’ day…OVER NOTHING.
Because he wasn’t kind, he wasn’t patient, he wasn’t full of grace. Which really is the essence of love. These are the veins in which love beats—these are the qualities that set love into action. These are the things we want extended to our own lives, but so often are unwilling to extend to others.
I am not saying I have it all figured out or that there are not days I want to be cantankerous or just dam up the rest of the world and sing at the top of my lungs: “It’s all about me, It’s all about I!” Nope, I still got those days. But what I am saying is that we so often get bogged down by the big issues of this world: hunger, poverty, the homeless. We think to ourselves, “Surely, I cannot really make a difference”. Then we either feel guilty for what we do have or we get overwhelmed and paralyzed by the magnitude of it all. And we do nothing. Which, only feeds the little monster, also known as suffering.
I would dare say we could eradicate 70 % of the problems in this world if we just gave a you-know-WHAT. Now, we live in a world that is a mere echo of what it should be…a shattered, tattered reflection. We can’t stop tsunami’s, we can’t control tornadoes, and as of right now we have a very loose grip on cancer.
But, what we can do is care. Life is messy. People even messier. But we can’t change the channel or just turn our head at the poor and needy and pretend they are someone else’s problem. We can’t–they are everywhere. You know them, you recognize them…you’ve been one. Or at least I have. The guy that’s wife left him. The woman who is watching her mom battle cancer. A friend plagued with debilitating depression. We can’t just throw money in an offering basket, say a prayer, and hope our hands stay clean.
Please hear me out, I don’t have this whole love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself even close to conquered. And I don’t think I will til the day I see Jesus’ face. I am speaking from a very raw place–this year with Nicholas has been tough. Rough. I have wanted to bail. To quit. To pull my hair out. To stomp all over my idealistic self. To tell God, “you got the wrong woman—ask that other lady—the one with lots of forbearance and who has doesn’t swear when her patience runs thin. I am done, Lord, I am tired. Knock on someone else’s heart, mine is closed and not due to reopen. Do you hear me?”
But what am I to do?
Quit because it’s hard? Quit because I can’t see the seeds that we are planting blooming right this moment?
Nope. I can’t. Yes, and hell to the yeah, I want to just walk away at times. But Jesus keeps loudly whispering in my ear, “I have not quit on you… Now, do you hear Me??”
So I take one step into the muddy, sticky, unchartered waters that is life. And trust that maybe it’s not about Nicholas, or me. Maybe it’s about seeing that life is never truly lived until it is laid down.
You and I cannot change the world. We live in a broken world; we are indeed a broken bunch of people. But what we can do is change it one life at a time. One action at a time. We can treat the guy that bags our groceries with dignity. We can give that geriatric driver the benefit of the doubt when they cut us off and choose to smile instead of giving them the middle finger. We can give our friends grace when they don’t return our texts in 2.5 seconds instead of mentally cursing them.
Just ask God to show you who to reach out to…and watch out. HE WILL ANSWER. So if you aren’t ready, I wouldn’t suggest it. Cause He will chase you down. But it’s the good kind of chasing…and once you figure out like I did that no matter what kind of shoes you are wearing you cannot outrun Him, then you will stop. Take a breath. Look up. And look out.
Look out to see that you are the one missing out. That the lives you deem untouchable, complicated are still untouchable and still complicated. Nothing has changed. But you have. And you realize that love has the power to dissolve the most potent of poisons that seep into life’s batter.
The heartbeat of love is a spirit that palpitates not only for itself but for others. And when it beats for others, your problems become smaller, your life becomes fuller and your heart becomes bigger.
Sometimes living a remarkable life is nothing more than doing the ordinary things in an extraordinary way…
…speaking of love. This is a BIG one. The mackdaddy of opening your heart. This is a sweet young woman that MUST be adopted in SIX months or less. If you know of anyone or would just pass along please help this precious little girl–please! I am not one to beg…but I am unabashedly wagging my tail (if I had one, that is) and p-l-e-a-d-i-n-g.. It will take 5 seconds to spread the word. Come on, you’re gonna be cruising facebook anyhow…make your status one that could change a life.
Click here and my dear friends meet one special little gal, named Laurel…