Life is busy, isn’t it? Overwhelming, at times. Nurturing this gorgeous baby boy with a personality larger than life alongside my husband has been a welcome respite. I confess to you I have not missed life’s pace.
Even though my friend Harmony makes fun of me when I say this, the past three months have been a Sabbath. (“You know you have a hard job when…” she says.) I have not checked a single email on my ministry account. Even though that means I will spend my first day back in the weeds of words and junk mail, it’s worth it.
Yes, that bath mat says “So Fresh and So Clean” and yes, those letters were white. Once upon a time when I had time to brush my teeth and care if our house was clean.
Ministry is hard work. Fact, not complaint. It’s also hilarious. This one time, to Skid Row, we traveled with 50 volunteers, two of which were seriously suspect. Upon exiting our shuttle, one of them peed on the street. Did I mention Saturday Outreach is a family friendly ministry? Approximately an hour later, we caught them coming out of the liquor store on San Julian and 5th smoking cigs and drinking 4o’s… in brown bags. At least we did baptisms on Skid Row that day, which now that I mention it, is pretty funny. We used my husband’s pick-up truck and a pool from Wal-Mart, with absolutely no follow-up plan for anyone we baptized. Rookies.
Live and learn, right?
I am learning to take more time to reflect, listen, and decide who I want to be. We are living in a transitional season. Often with transitions, comes tension, misunderstanding, hurt, judgement and opinions. Opinions are loud. Opinions rule our culture. If we are not careful, they will rule our life. Sometimes, I wonder if our opinions have replaced the voice of God.
I am obsessed with e-cards. There are so many inappropriate ones I can’t post here. So I send them to all my friends.
He’s difficult to hear in our “do what you want, when you want, to whomever you want, however you want” culture. We often want Him to tell us what to do and when He doesn’t, we start listening to other voices. We can always find what we are looking for, but because our character matters, I believe God wants to teach us how to live.
Biblically, living is loving. In the midst of transitions, it would help us all to remember love. I want to love people better. To love them, I must know them. To know them, I must serve them. If I am firm in my preferences, opinions, expectations and judgements, how can I ever serve others with love – love in all its kindness, patience, honesty and trust.
“Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.” Viktor Frankl, Austrian Neurologist, Psychologist, and Holocaust Survivor
What if our desire for others was to grasp them in the innermost core of their personality? What if we saw potential in the wreckage of our humanity and through our love, saw it realized? What if our words were full of life and served to remind others what they can and should become? What if we were known for our character in Christ and not our strong opinions? What if we loved without our list of standards and expectations? These words especially move me: “No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.”
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:1-7
Love is changing me. I have good days and bad days, but I like who I am becoming. What about you? How is love changing you? Who has loved you in this transitional season and helped you remember who you are? How have you kept opinions out and God’s voice in?
Sending you love and grace – We’re in this together, friends.