I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Ephesians 3: 16-19
Do you remember your first love? Recall the feelings that pulsed through your body when you saw them approaching you. How did you feel when they held your hand or said you were beautiful? Did you yearn for a call or a next date? Were you empowered and strong? Ready to face the world because you knew someone, out there, loved you.
It’s hard to imagine that in a very small way that intensity is a reflection of God’s love for us. Humans are tangible, knowable, kissable. But God? Where does His love show up when we can’t see Him or touch Him or dare I say kiss Him?
I have often contemplated that. How does human love translate into God’s love? Do we know God’s love through human connection or do we connect fully with God’s love directly? It’s a debatable subject I supposed. I’d like to think that we can experience fully expressed love in God’s presence.
Maybe it’s through spending time in nature. Enjoying the beauty of a sunset. Or holding a new puppy or soothing a crying baby. Maybe though, God’s love is better expressed through our humanity towards one another.
If we are the body of Christ would that mean that our actions and our words and our love towards others is God’s love expressed in the world? And therefore we need one another. Very deeply.
Making these emotional connections with other human beings, I believe, is critical. God can speak to you through others. God can show His love through the touch of a dear friend or lover. God can encourage you and appreciate you and express His kindness towards you, through others.
And we have a great responsibility to carry out His love as well. A smile and a touch on the shoulder goes a long way. A word spoken in due season can lift the spirits of one who is discouraged. A hug and reassurance that all will be well in tough times, because you will be there to walk through it with them, is God’s love landing in the center of their universe.
Today I am heading to a funeral for a young woman who used to work as Jim’s assistant. She lost passed too young at just 31. Married last June, she and her husband never got to celebrate their first anniversary. As I went to bed last night I felt a sickness overwhelm me imagining her parents also heading to bed knowing the following day would be the most difficult day of their lives.
God’s love. Where is it in this moment? How could He allow such a tragedy? I wondered the same when my father passed from cancer too. Loss is never easy but it is in these moments that showing up with God’s love and compassion means the most. Being still, absorbing their pain, allowing the sadness to be…that is God’s love. Knowing He never leaves and even in the midst of great pain He is there, through the hands, the hugs, the support, the presence of others.
Yes, humans are fallible. We disappoint one another. We can be selfish and rude. We can spout off in anger and withdraw into silence. We are not the perfect expression of God’s love. But despite this, He gave us the power to carry out His Love in the world. And Love we must. For here on earth I believe the closest we will get to experiencing God’s love directly is through one another.
Love deeply. Love generously. Love with reckless abandon. Love with a motive to show God’s love in this world. How can we do that? Just follow God’s Love map.
Love is patient and kind, it is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand it’s own way. It is not irritable and keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice over injustices but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
I love you today. I will pray for you today. I will be God’s love in the world today. Will you?