We cultivate love when we allow
our most vulnerable selves to be seen and known.
Love is not something that we give or get;
it is something that we nurture and grow.
Withholding of affection,
disrespect, betrayal and blame
damage the roots from which love grows
and hurt the place from which it came.
Love can only survive these injuries
if they’re acknowledged, healed, and rare.
So put down your ego, put in the work,
and let love know you’re there.
I often pray for the people in my life who I don’t think know God, to know Him…To experience Him the way that we were designed to.
Recently, God replied to me, “Oh yes, I love those people. You ought to introduce us.”
He reminds me, in His oh so loving manner, that faith without action is useless…
We seem to have formed this strategy of withholding love in order to change people. Giving it to them only when we approve. A sort of positive reinforcement.
But this is not how God loves. God never withholds love in order to teach us a lesson. And God’s love is the single most powerful change agent on the planet.
Despite what we may believe, it’s not our responsibility to change someone. It’s God’s. Our only job is to communicate love and approval. And if we really want someone to change, we ought to be showering them with both.
Last night I was feeling overwhelmed with love for my dog, Buddy. I expressed this feeling to God. “I just love him so much!!” I said. He smiled, “I know you do. Your love for Buddy is a reflection of my love for you. Imagine how much more I love you! Hard to fathom, isn’t it?”
An overwhelming sense of peace washed over me, “I am in good hands.”
God continued, “Why don’t you try loving a person with the same sort of intensity that you love Buddy?”
“But, how?” I replied.
“Just try.” He answered.
“But,” I insisted, “My whole life revolves around him! How could I love people in that same way? It would take up too much energy. I would have no time.”
God replied, “Is there anything more important to spend your energy or time on?”
Wow. It hit me. We are called to love others. It is our mission. Our reason for being on Earth. And not just to love them halfheartedly either, when it’s convenient to us, for example. But to love them wholeheartedly, at all times, through all situations, no matter their actions or behaviors. This might seem like a daunting task but it’s natural when the Holy Spirit resides in you. This sort of love, relentless and all encompassing, is the kind that reflects God’s love for us. It is the kind that people most need to see. The kind that we need to be most intentional about showing.
It’s well known that love finds you when you’re not looking for it. But did you know that if you go looking for love, more than likely, you’re not ready for it? Love finds you, not the other way around.
Similarly, commitment finds you when you’re not ready for it. Truth is, you’re not ready for commitment now nor will you ever be. Do you really think that our independent, self-absorbed, 21rst century selves are ever ready to commit selflessly to another?! Of course not!
But that’s why love finds you first. And suddenly, it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re ready for commitment because commitment is no longer about you. It’s about the other. You commit not for yourself, but for the one you love.