Valentine’s Day. Not a fan, myself – but will accept flowers, wine, chocolate if offered them ;). If are looking for a warm and fuzzy post about love, go to this post, and be sure to read the comments :).
However, it’s a good opportunity to focus on love. And I’m not talking about the mushy, sloppy, Hollywood romance type of love.
I mean fierce love, outrageous love. Love that makes you stand up and applaud.
The theme of love has been popping up a lot lately, and if you are a long time reader of this blog, firstly, thank you :), and secondly, you will know that I love love!
A couple weeks back in church the well known verses that go like this were read out:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
When you dissect it and take it piece by piece, it is extraordinarily powerful. I’m still mulling over and trying to put into practice just the first sentence! I figure by the time I’m about 347 years old, I’ll have perfected the whole thing.
And then in our family devotions just the other day, we read the words of Jesus:
…love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you….If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?
Mmmm…I don’t like that very much! It’s a bit harder to love those we don’t like, isn’t it? I find it no trouble at all to do and say nice things to my friends, even for strangers on the street. But the people that I know, who I know I don’t like??? That’s a different story.
Yet, it appears that’s what we are called to. And not to just pretend to love them and be nice…but to actually love them.
When in Thailand, I was struck by the love the staff at Destiny Rescue have for the children, the staff and the Thai people in general. And they even love the perpetrators of the heinous acts these girls endure. Yep, I saw Jesus in every single one of the staff there.
What the world needs isn’t more sloppy, weak love. It needs love that is prepared to get it’s hands dirty. Love that will feed people on the streets. Love that will go into brothels and give girls hope of a better life. Love that cares for the whole person. Love that will clothe, feed, shelter and protect. Love that loves just as people are, with all our differences, faults and ugliness!
We need love that will move out of our comfort zones. We need love that is patient, kind, puts itself last. Love that never gives up, love that loves the unlovely. Love that loves the annoying, hurtful, rude and nasty people.
The world needs people who don’t see love as optional.
The world needs people who see love as essential.