Monday, June 08, 2009

Did I love well?


The Shema could be called a mission statement for the Jews. It literally means “hear”, which is the first word of one of the scriptures involved in the statment. Duet: 6:4-5 states, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God! The Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

In Matthew 22:35-29, Jesus referred back to this, “One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” {*side note: We have a neighbor who parks in front of our house, even though they could easily park in front of theirs. It drives us crazy. I am sure Jesus doesn’t need us to love that neighbor}.

I like logic, I like lists and charts and books and learning. I like Hebrew, and concordances, and getting the email to see what the new word of the day is. I like the details of the story and the rationale behind what has happened. I could memorize my bible verses and study the Word and serve at church, excited about Him. But being in a vertical position {bed rest} 24/7 has taught me a little about being still. Maybe love is less about logic, and more about seeing and hearing. How can we weep with those who weep or rejoice with those who rejoice if we have not been still enough to see their tears or quiet enough to hear their laugher?

Over a year ago I attended a seminar on foster parenting, that forever altered my way of thinking. You can read about it here, if you’d like. After that seminar I intentionally made an effort to give more of myself, to love more deeply. If my heart was prompted to do something {give a gift, send an email, whatever} I would do it, not caring how or if the person responded – just fully knowing I had loved fully and handed over an honest piece of my heart. I’ve gotten better at it, and time and time again God has presented me opportunities to practice this. This week, I’ve realized that another step in this is letting go of the logic. It’s sitting quietly, getting to know and understand, not so I can see, hear, know or understand better, but so I can learn to love better.

What if I slowed down enough to really hear my co-worker? What if I actually handed the homeless man my happy meal inside of looking at him with sadness in the drive thru? What if I encouraged my husband to go play with the boys because I know it’s what he loves, even though I am stuck on the couch? What if I reached out to the odd girl at church instead of just speculate about her? What if I responded in kindness to someone who snaps at me? What if instead of another apologetics class we went and fed the hungry?

What if at the end of each night, I didn’t concern myself with whether or not I memorized my verse for the week, but instead sat before my King, and asked “Did my life please you today?”, which in turns boils down to “Did I love well today?” … what if I stayed quiet long enough to hear an answer?

To passionately love God and love other people.
This is what matters.
This is all that matters.
But it requires are all to fulfill. – Ken Gire


*totally kidding about this, btw. I can love him too.


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3 comments:

  1. Beautiful. And convicting.

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  2. Absolutely incredible post. Thank you for this gift.

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  3. I think we have the same neighbor...I pray for them daily too. They need it. Thanks for this inspiration, it was really beautiful and eye-opening:)
    Blessings--Beth

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