I want to talk for a moment about love. Now, I don’t mean the kind of love that makes you weak in the knees, I mean the kind of love you should build the foundations of homes on. I want to talk about unconditional love. The kind that transcends any boundary, conquers any battle, and is sometimes harder to do than anything you can imagine. Sometimes it looks like fighting all of your human instincts to run, to break down because you’re not getting what you want.
In the past year, I’ve been asked to love someone unconditionally, despite what I want from them, or how I want love reciprocated to me. It’s a battle against my flesh, daily. This morning, as I was brushing my teeth, because you know most revelations happen in the bathroom, I just felt the Lord impress upon my heart this verse:
Matthew 22:37- 40 “Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.””
That verse is where we get our lovely “Golden Rule,” to “love your neighborh as yourself.” When you think about it, that just means extending the same level of grace, love, mercy upon others as you want and expect to be given to you. A lot of the time, that looks like obedience rather than a love that makes you weak in the knees and gives you a desire to yell from the mountain tops.
Low key you guys, I hate it. I want to scream and say “love me back, the way I want to be loved. I’m loving you!” but I can’t, it’s not time. We get asked to do things, that make absolutely no sense, because God’s hand is at work in the most mysterious of ways, but I will say this: stay the course. God is working behind the scenes, and if you get tired consider the fact that the love you’re displaying may be the only love they’re receiving!
While I was visiting Seattle a few weeks ago, my friend and travel buddy, Rachel, was wearing a t-shirt from our womens ministry at church, Sisterhood. The shirt read “Loved,” in big, bold letters. It was astounding the amount of people who came up to her saying things along the lines of, “ I wish I was loved,” “You’re so lucky that you’re loved.” That’s heartbreaking. People were crying out wishing to be loved, by anyone.
Now, in saying all of that, I want to take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum--those of us feeling unloved. I want this to be known, you are allowed to ask people for love. You can tell people when you need encouragement. It’s ok. It doesn’t mean you’re needy, it simply shows your strength in vulnerability. Vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness; we’ve got to stop thinking that.
I want you to know, you are so loved. You are capable of loving people through the pain of being human. From love, for love. Love and be loved.