The Day of Love
L O V E……love is a word we use all the time. We say it about things we enjoy eating, about our favorite shoes, a sports team we like, or an actor we admire. And of course, we say it about our friends and family. It is a word that should carry so much weight, yet we throw it around without giving it any real consideration.
My idea behind this blog post, and several of this week’s posts, has been to take a minute to really focus on the gift of love, because it is not only “a” gift, but also “the” greatest gift we will ever receive! Over two thousand years ago, a man died for love. The single thing that held him to the cross was love. “We love because he first loved us” 1 John 4:19
In this life I wish we could take more time to love others and to love them well. But the key here is to love well and not to just love those we were born to love, like our family and friends. They, largely, are easy to love and do not require real work to love them.
But how about loving them well? Now that isn’t as easy. To go out of your way for them, to put them before yourself, cherish them, and even to be inconvenienced for their sake, is the love I am talking about. Love is an incredible phenomenon, but true, deep and abiding love is not easy…. just ask any parent. Or any spouse after years of marriage.
The second form of love I am talking about is loving your neighbor, and not just the person who lives next door to you, but your “neighbor” being ALL people; yes, I said all. And the real challenge is to “love them as you love yourself”. And let’s be honest, we all don’t go around talking about how much we love ourselves but we all inherently love ourselves A LOT!
Every day we care for ourselves in countless ways, and if anyone tries to make life difficult for us or harm us in any way, we immediately go on the defensive. When I say to love your neighbor, and to love them as you love yourself, is the ability to do that and do it well goes to another other level. To give love to a stranger in line at Starbucks, or a checkout person at the grocery store, or a homeless person you pass on the street is not something that comes naturally to us. And trying to love someone who has been unfair, unkind or just flat out awful to you is REALLY, REALLY, difficult to say the least!
So, my challenge to us all, myself included, is twofold:
Let us love the already loveable with an inconvenient kind of love and the second is to love our neighbors as ourselves. To love them free of judgment, to see them through God’s eyes and not our own flawed eyes. See who you can reach out to this very day with a bit of real L O V E.
All my love to you!
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