The Original Message

1 John 3:11 (the message)
For this is the original message we heard: We should love each other.

We are supposed to love others yet often our own need for unconditional, at-the-core love is unmet.

I keep thinking about it and I remember this:

He loved us first.

I can’t love others if I’m not living loved. If I’m not convinced deep inside that I’m safely loved. If I don’t know how to accept that in fact Creator does love me like crazy. He wants me, enjoys me, even.

Christians, especially church-world veterans, are often at the ready with suggestions. Here’s how to find Him, we tell them.

But we are already found.  Already loved.  It’s the introduction to what has been done, not what we think needs to be done, that matters.

I don’t see how a person can follow whole-heartedly and truly experience freedom in Christ if they don’t first know how deeply they are loved.

I can’t.

I’m broken on my own. My attempts are anemic. My love anorexic.

Today I’m driving my little mini van around town with tears on my cheeks as we listen to a Veggie Tales rendition of worship songs.  The squeaky voices of Bob and Larry are telling me the truth.

Your grace is enough…Your grace is enough…Your grace is enough for me

Beauty is bursting, exploding, all around me. Within me.

His love is beautiful.

It heals. Soothes. Sticky like sap, the presence of Jesus binds our broken hearts until we are whole. Until we sigh in relief. Until we can let go of defense mechanisms and let our walls crumble.

Jesus keeps binding.  Sticking.  Soothing.  For a lifetime.

We marinate a while and then realize it’s safe to give love away without strings because Jesus hold us together.

Love expresses itself in kindness.

Last night at dinner my oldest daughter, Rivers, mentioned a girl in her class who isn’t very nice. She went on to say that during school they needed to partner up so she asked a girl who doesn’t have many friends and the “mean” girl made a face at her for doing it.

My heart caught at what seemed to be her secondary point.

Rivers, you asked the girl no one else wants to choose to be your partner?

She did.

My husband and I look at each other.  Nothing matters more than this does.

His love is sticking to my girl’s insides.  Making Rivers want to give away the substance, the texture, of her experience with Jesus.  

As I type the leaves outside my window are burning up with color…they make you stop and notice and believe in God.

I am convinced the love of Christ can set our lives ablaze with kindness…make others stop and notice and believe in God.






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