Riding bikes, my 7-year old turned to me and said, “Mommy, I want to go knock on that person’s door and let them know, ‘God loves them.’
Now, I did not know “that person” or how they would react to my son knocking randomly on their door. As I am sure you all know, I’m all about sharing God, but being a door-to-door solicitor for Jesus seemed, well. . . a little beyond me.
All the same, my heart was struck by the thought: If I want Michael to get to know God personally, I have to permit him to personally move towards God. In this, He’ll get to see God show up.
So, I gave him permission. My son parked his bike and I circled in the cul-de-sac with my daughter, trailer-in-tow.
Heart-pumping – while wondering if my child was about to be abducted – I carefully watched from the street. Yet, the more I watched the more I couldn’t believe it – both my son and the lady who he was now talking to were smiling and laughing. Then, the lady handed my son – what?!!! – cash. Yes, money. Her son took out cash and passed it to my son too.
What is going on?
After introductions, the blonde lady with a son said, “You know, today at church it was amazing. Instead of taking a tithe, the pastor gave out cash – $10 to each person sitting in the aisles. He said, ‘Give it to someone who has impacted your relationship with God.’ I didn’t know what to do with the money. Earlier today, after church, I told my husband, ‘I have no idea who to give the money to.’ My husband told me, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll know.”
She went on, “And, here you are. You just showed up today. Right on time.”
We all laughed at the goodness of God. At how God sent Michael to this very house out of the dozens we’d bicycled by. . . At how God just “knows. . . ”
Her son said, “I don’t know, mom? This doesn’t really seem believable…”
And, so it is with God. When we submit to him, He does the unbelievable.
And, here, as I reflect back on this whole amazing set-up that God orchestrated, and my sons’ courage, I can’t help but think: It’s often risk-taking that lets us walk into God’s most amazing things. It is when we do things that are out-of-the-ordinary that we get to see God’s extraordinary moves. It is when we put ourselves “out there”, in love, that we feel God’s deep love making its way back into our hearts. It almost always feels comfortable.
I thank my little 7-year old for this “beyond-me” lesson on love.
With this, I wonder, how can you love extraordinarily today? How can you let someone know, “God loves them”, even if it makes you feel weird?
On Earth, you may never know the impact of your love, but I assure you, your love will never fail . . . ” (1 Cor. 3:18)
We’ve moved across state and country lines three times over the past six years, and with each move I’ve dreaded the exhaustion of making new friends. Women can be so nice and welcoming and awesome. And women can also be terrifying.
After our second major move, we began the search for a new church. We liked the idea of attending church in our own neighborhood, so we decided to visit the one across the street from our apartment complex.
It was a smaller church, with around forty people attending that day, and when the service was over, it took at least forty-five minutes to exit the building. People wanted to know where we were from and where we’d been and if we preferred the Chicago White Socks or the Cubs. Albeit tiring, I was glad these complete strangers were making an effort to get to know us.
And then someone took it to the next level.
A woman named Beth came up to me again and asked if my daughter and I would like to come over for a play date at her place sometime that week.
If my jaw didn’t physically drop right then and there, it hit the floor metaphorically. She had only met me ten minutes ago, yet she didn’t hesitate to welcome my child and I into her daily life.
I thought protocol was that you had to commit to a church before the people in that church would be willing to commit to you. And yet, Beth welcomed us in – no strings attached. Not worrying if our presence would mess up the groove of the friendships she had already established.
As the newbie in town, I was so grateful for the generous welcome God provided in what would eventually become our church home and the source of many life-giving friendships. And as the one feeling awkward and lonely, I was so grateful Beth didn’t let fear hold her back from both saying hello and, “Would you like to come over?”
May we all be the same beacon of welcome to the people in our everyday lives – to those in our homes, in our churches, and in our neighborhoods.
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:3
Lord, one of the greatest gifts that You gave us was the church. I pray that You will provide life-giving friendships for those of us who feel lonely. And I pray that You will help us recognize ways we can invite others into our daily lives – no strings attached. Amen.
About Kendra Broekhuis:
Kendra is the author of Here Goes Nothing: An Introvert’s Reckless Attempt to Love Her Neighbor. The book highlights her 30 Day journey to recognize the Lord’s “I love you’s” in her daily life, as well as her somewhat awkward attempts to be the Lord’s “I love you’s” to her neighbors. For her day job, Kendra stays home with two of their children, Jocelyn and Levi. She and her family live in Milwaukee. Kendra’s love language is Dove chocolate.
Their outfits are adorable. They look confident in how they carry themselves. They seem to have perfect lives. Their understanding of scripture is mind-blowing. And we wonder if God is more pleased with them than He is with… us.
And deep down, we may even envy their notoriety. Don’t we all have a desire to be seen and known.
I’ll be honest… this kind of mindset makes me want to scream. I can’t stand it when I let myself go down this road of thinking. Because I know everyone struggles as they navigate life. No one has it all together…
… regardless of who they are.
Here is the hard, cold truth: No matter how it may look, ministry is hard.
It’s a call to be vulnerable and open with your life—your story. It’s choosing to sit down at your computer or stand in front of an audience and pick the scab off your deepest wounds. It’s a radical act of obedience when we feel lacking and even unqualified. And sometimes it feels like you’re setting yourself up for a big heart thump.
Last year was one of those times.
Within about 3 months…
… I lost a good ministry-minded friend, … an opportunity to work with an amazing group of Jesus-girls exploded, … and I was betrayed at the deepest level by someone in ministry.
That trifecta knocked me down. Hard. And I lost my joy for ministry.
It made me question the calling on my life, wondering if maybe I heard God wrong. I was on the verge of quitting, frustrated because I felt He had abandoned me. It just felt like too much heartache to handle.
But then God. Those three words are so powerful. But then God nudged women to send affirming emails at just the right time. But then God crossed my path with the paths of encouragers at the right moment. But then God spoke the right words into my heart.
And my hopelessness began to lift… my perspective began to shift… and joy began to trickle back in.
Honestly, I am still low on the joy-meter. It’s a process, right? But I know the only One who can restore it is God.
And we’re working on it together.
Friend, where is joy draining from your life?
Where are you struggling to hold on to it?
Maybe it’s in a marriage that feels fragile or because a child is making bad choices. It could be because of your failing health or because your finances are unstable. Are you losing joy because of a strained friendship, a moral failure or a career that seems stuck?
What if we looked at our circumstances a little differently?
Mother Teresa once said, “The best way to show my gratitude to God is to accept everything, even my problems, with joy.” This is meaty. It’s trust on steroids. And it is faith to the core.
But even better…
1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us… “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live” (MSG).
God is asking us to engage in uncommon gratitude when life is draining our joy.
That means we thank God no matter what happens. It means we don’t focus on what’s lost, but instead focus on what’s left… and to be grateful for it.
It means we praise Him in the storm.
We don’t have to thank God for allowing cancer or death or pain in our life. I’m not sure we could ever genuinely find gratitude in that. Instead, we show gratitude because we know God is bigger than what we are facing, and that He is intricately involved in the details.
And that choice—choosing praise over hopelessness—is what takes us from common to uncommon.
Friends, praise will always usher in joy when we’re struggling to find it. It’s a negativity-buster and gratitude-generator at the same time. And it will keep us tethered to hope… no matter what comes our way.
Let’s be joy-carriers and show the next generation how it’s done so they can harness its power in their own lives.
I know you can do this.
Because of Jesus, you have everything it takes to #beUncommon. Now choose it.
About Carey Scott
Carey Scott is an author and speaker, honest about her walk with the Lord… stumbles, fumbles and all. Her NEWLY RELEASED BOOK, Uncommon, a battle cry for women to step out of the ordinary and live with purpose and passion. Carey also wrote Untangled, a book about the insecurities we face as women and how to live in freedom. She lives in Northern Colorado with her family. Learn more at CareyScott.org. You can also connect with her on Facebook.
I’m stumped. My heart is far from God. Problem is, I don’t know how to pull it close again. It runs off. It’s a stray dog, trying to smell it’s own pee, rather than the roses of God. It gets antsy. Pushy.
The fact of the matter is it’s a determined, distracted, annoying little thing. It tries, but, I fear, it gets it all wrong.
How do we really love God more?
We love because he first loved us. 1 Jo. 4:19
This verse teaches me, we so often have it backward. We run out to love, with nothing. What love can we give, if our love compartment is empty? What gifts can we bring, if we allowed God to wrap and deliver none within us? What can we share, when we feel empty.
God’s love in us is paramount to his love flowing out from within us. We must let in, what he desires to send out. We must open the confines of our comforts, to allow his voice, truth and life to console us first.
How? We draw up next to God.
Not like a stray dog, but like a close companion. We stay right next to his heart, because we want to hear his words, his tender mercy, and his uplifting charges. We naturally pull in tight. It only makes sense.
We do it in these 5 ways:
Get alone with God. Meet him in your place of refreshment: a walk, painting, journaling, singing, dancing, being alone.
In every situation, choose not to work hard, not to do more, but simply, to love God. Posture your heart towards him.
Imagine him delighting in you. Imagine him smiling down upon you as you invite him into the hiccups, hurdles and the down moments of your day
Seek his guidance and leading in the little decisions, the words you speak and even your thoughts. Keep returning in need and he’ll feed you with his wisdom.
Let God’s heart become yours. Do your work, do your life, allowing his goal to be yours. Let the outcome of love, rule your intentions. Let the pursuit of peace be your ultimate cause.
The more we do this, the more we realize, the story of the prodigal father, is not just a story for a wayward believer. It is a story for all of us. Each day, we stray. Each day, we go our own way. Each day, we fall away. And, each day, God waits, arms wide open waiting for us to run to him. He stands there, I believe, hoping we’ll sprint like a bullet into the fullness of his all-consuming love that eats away at what’s eating us.
His love heals our love-empty heart. His love reworks our capacity to love. His love placates our wandering soul. His love draws us home. His love sets a table for us. His love welcomes us to eat. His love sends us out into the world – full.
Just yesterday, I met up with a friend. She’s stuck in a foreign prison. She can’t find her way out. Jesus saved her for heaven, but on earth, she nearly lives daily in hell. Depression, despair and dejection have claimed her.
When I got home, she was all I could think about. The way her tears broke down her face, the way her heart was spread out on the table and the way it seemed there was no way out.
I wish I had been there for her more.
We live is in a world of hurt; there is no denying that. And, where I sit is in a chair, angry, I can’t fix things. I can’t rework their lives. I can’t restructure the story or rewind the tape. Oh, how badly I want to get up like a super-genie with blonde hair, an explosive attitude, with a good sprinkle of Jesus, and just swipe away the pain, as if I’m sending them back to those smiling pictures of old. I want them to go – back there.
But, I can’t swipe it all away. I can’t swear it away. I can’t superwoman it away either.
Here pain stands.
And so do I.
What will I do this time?
What will you?
Because the pain of the world isn’t going anywhere. And neither are needy people. Here we all are. Look left, you’ll see her – in the wheelchair. Look right, you’ll remember, yes, that person, who lost their spunky 30-year old spouse. Look across the street, you’ll see him, the dad with tired eyes and a drug addict child.
See what you try not to see, today.
They walk everywhere. I guess the real question is, what will we do? Will we continue on with our day or will we step in to a new way?
10 Ways to Be There For Someone Going through a Hard Time
Realize you are just as needy. Think you don’t have problems? Think again. Meet your neediness first.
Soften your heart. Let your covering of to-do’s fall to the ground. Let judgements go. See afresh.
Smile. Smile at yourself because today, you are choosing to go a new way. Who you abandoned in the past, is forgiven by Christ Jesus.
Ask God for His eyes to see.
Recognize. What you think needs fixing, God may think is down-right astonishing when seen from the angle of his great plan.
Don’t be a Mrs. or Mr. Fix it or Madam Know-it-all. Refuse to allow pride to break the stride of God’s perfect love and timing.
Be. Be in the moment with your own feelings and emotions. Listen from this place and love in that space.
Pray with all your heart, then act as the Holy Spirit leads.
Expect the Lord to be faithful through your prayers. Even more, expect him to grow you along the way.
Enjoy. Enjoy what the Lord is doing, even if it looks nothing like you thought.
A weird thing happens as you love, you find out God is loving you. He gives back what you are giving and he gives out what the other person’s soul most quenches. All of a sudden, what happens is you – and them – are unified. It is not about pity, judgement or charity, it is about two souls in need, hungering and seeking for more. Drawing strength, building hope and seeking rescue. It is a beautiful thing. It is God in action. It is – lives – coming alive. And – it is never too late to find.
My son lives like a son. Meaning, he takes all momma wants to give him. If I walk in with a plate of cookies, he dives into them. If I offer him a hug, he runs up to get it in full. If I sit down with him, he delights in showing me things. If he gets injured, he runs to me and asks how I might help. He takes what I give, eagerly and willingly.
Somehow he knows where he is –is safe. And, what I am giving – is good.
Christians aren’t always good children. It’s not because we aren’t loved, adored and chosen, we completely are, but it’s mostly because we grew up.
I’ve been meeting a lot of children of God in need lately, but when he tries to use me to love them, they shut it down.
Here’s how it tends to go:
I say, “Need prayer?” They say, “Nope. But, I know someone who does.”
I say, “Are you struggling with anything?” They say, “Nope. Not at all.”
I say, “I’d like offer you a gift – God has put you on my heart.” They say, “Nope. I never take gifts from others.”
I say, “You are courageous.” They say, “I don’t want to talk about me. Let’s talk about you.”
Rather than living as a needy children, we living as arrogant adults. To turn away the love of Christ is to turn down the greatest gift moving on earth. We do it often.
Maybe, because we don’t want to owe people things. Maybe, because we feel guilty or embarrassed. Maybe because we feel undeserving.
The maybe’s don’t matter.
What matters is, like children, we open our arms up to hold the gifts God is outpouring through others. What’s important is that we see all the ways he is trying to love us. What is important is that we let this love in, so we can let this very love out.
God wants us to sit at his feet and feel his love. He wants us to grow in community. He wants us to receive the glorious inheritance of his riches, which often walks into our life through the other body parts of Christ. He wants us to stand in need, so we see that he can stop what is making us bleed.
10 Questions to ask yourself: Are you not receiving God’s love?
Do you let his love in?
Do you embrace what God is offering you?
Do you make time to sit next to God?
Do you listen?
Do you remember God’s goodness?
Do you notice God through your day?
Do you seek spiritual eyes to see?
Do you trust by faith?
Do you push off distraction?
Do you renew your mind when it gets off track?
If the man sweat, I’m convinced, it would’ve come out as iron. He was strong! No doubt, he was military. I tried to keep my eyes straight, but to no avail, they wandered like a girl cheating on her 11th-grade chemistry test. I didn’t want to get caught – pastor was going strong. Still, how the man rubbed tenderly and passionately his bracelet, over and over, round and round – it meant something. I needed to know what. The sermon, this day, was all about him.
I squinted and spotted a location and a date. Aha! I figured it out. They are winning moments. Times, people, places that were special, meaningful or momentous.
As his fingers moved, did his mind also, going back to the memory of what happened?
A place where he joined hands with a fellow warrior and pressed on?
A time when his courage nearly beat out of his chest – and he conquered all?
A lesson of bravery, learned through trial, never to be forgotten?
How sweet! “Hold on to that fella,” I wanted to say, “that’s what moments are made of.”
If I could’ve whispered it without being rude and out-of-place, friends, I might have.
The paint was chipping, kneaded raw, but clear as day I spotted three letters: KIA.
At first, I thought of the car brand – KIA. Then, I the reality appeared:
KIA. Killed. In. Action.
My eyes widened.
Killed. in. action.
My back sank down the chair.
Killed. in. action.
My heart moved with it.
Someone willing to pay the ultimate price for freedom.
This man? He knew: You hold on to one you love. You knead into the fact they gave up their needs and wants, so you could have yours. You absorb the price of their sacrifice.
The man next to me did just that. He remembered…
Him, a person, laying down his life for liberty.
Him, one suffering all pain, for our gain.
Him, a beating heart, a heart he knew, silenced.
Do we remember Jesus Christ in the same way?
Keeping the reality of his sacrifice not only within our fingers, but everpresent within our heart?
Our warrior, the perfect warrior – Jesus – with his final breath beat death, sin and the war of all evil. He is worthy.
Our Jesus lion and lamb, burst free of the tomb. He is worthy.
Our Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the father, won the battle, so he could plead on our behalf. He is worthy.
Jesus was K.I.A.
Because of the lamb, who is also the lion,
we are now forever liberated, loved and alive.
Do you hold him close? Do you knead into his goodness? Do you remember the power of his miracles worked into your life? Do you draw from his words and wear them, like an embossed memorial, across your heart?
Today, hold close: Jesus. Died. For. Me.
Goodness, purity, wholeness was killed, willingly, on your behalf.
“This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Cor. 11:24
Jesus. The man who had it all, but gave it all – for you. R.I.P.
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I end my day couch-ridden, feeling beaten by my fears. I walk a beaten path.
I let stress spill pent up emotions – everywhere. I walk a beaten path.
I let time rush me. I walk a beaten path.
I let other’s define the “right” way. I walk a beaten path.
I rush and shush my family. I walk a beaten path.
I do the same things. Again and again. Same walk. Same path. Different day.
God, I feel tired, cranky and a bit off kilter.
Kelly, how’s this working for you?
Umm…Okay, God, so what am I supposed to do?
Get off the beaten path!
So, I do, I venture off. I don’t have to do it like I always have. I don’t have to do it like they do. I don’t have to be what the world demands. This beaten path does me no good.
If God isn’t in it, what use is it anyway?
Covered by the thrill of trees, the calling of excitement – a step is all it takes.
Although it’s risky, I’m just where I want to be. Somehow the mom of, “Don’t venture out in those woods, there are ticks out there” vanishes and some childlike charge comes alive.
I let go.
If I just go with God, where will he take me?
I press into the vines, the brush, the scary. Even more, I find her. Her heart is still going. The girl of adventure, of freedom, of willingness, of spontaneity, of joy, of wonder, of peace.
She’s still alive. She wants to arise.
If I move outside my norm, God, what will you do with me?
Might I see myself like you do?
I go deeper. My ears hear it first…the rush, two rocks and a transformation in progress…
Living water is changing hard, non-pourous and rough edges into a new mold. They need do nothing, they are being changed. Restructured as recipients of the living water’s power.
Change only happens if we submit to the force of love over us…
What if our greatest life-change is just
on the other side of – stepping out?
What if by stepping out we best get the chance
to sit under God’s love?
I sit, in order to see. It is something we are all wise to try sometime…
Rather than a schlep to “destination,” just accept God’s invitation.
You don’t want to risk missing it.
This time, I don’t – I won’t.
Quiet whispers wander.
Internal sparks come alive.
True identity surfaces.
I am called. So I go. We go. We walk on.
To a clearing. It is about as sunny as Florida. Clouds are invisible. But, all the same – off the beaten path, a mini-miracle happens – light drops fall. The dance from heaven speaks something. But, what, God, what?
He who waters the plants, who keeps green the grass, and who rises the sun, is more than equipped to hold together the nitty-gritty details of my life…
Even if I do nothing, he will create an orchestra of outstanding, mesmerizing and brilliant – out of nothing…
Even if I only breathe, but nothing else, he can lead all relationships where they need to go…
Even if I just observe, he will create something far better than marketing, manpower or management skills ever could…
I inhale. I like being off the beaten path.I sit longer.
When I finally get home, I crawl down next to him, the boy. I inhale and abolish time. Only the moment counts. Nothing is required. Words aren’t demanded. Planning isn’t essential. What matters is not the destination, but the invitation to rest in the presence of love.
I set my heart on getting off the beaten path…
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Eyes trying to peep over the counter, they stood on tippy-toes. They were close, yet far enough the glass window preventing them from grabbing it. No touching allowed! They watched, as she ladled on the batter, shaped it, then carefully added the chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham crackers. Like pent up children ready to bust into Christmas, they knew, I knew – something monumental was about to happen. Yet, I also knew WWIII might breakout…
The second the gigantic crepe was in their hand, I heard it, “Mine, mine, mine.” He watched, she took a bite, “My bite wasn’t as big as hers!” She watched, yelling, “He got 2 bites.” He ripped it a chunk as quickly as he could.
So did she.
He looked at us with frustration, “Why can’t I have more.” She grabbed it and stared right at him, “Look what I have.”
They were so honed in on what the other had, they missed what they had.
So focused on the other’s portion,
they missed the chance to enjoy theirs.
So eager to win in the moment, they ruined it.
How often do we sour our sweet moments?
God, you should have given that to me. Why does she have the voice and the brains? Why don’t my kids act like that? How come every door is open for her to walk through? Why did she get the promotion and I didn’t? When will it be my turn? Why do I have to be the heavier one?
We sour sweet moments when we believe God hands us second-best.
I sat in church today. Up on the screen, they announced the women’s conference of all women’s conference. They showed the speakers perfect smiling faces, they highlighted their glorified messages, their idealized lives and their heart to bring Jesus to stadium-filled masses. Why aren’t I the model spokesperson for Jesus? I wanted their shoes.
They soured my sweetness.
The good in me went rancid.
My husband whispered,“Kelly, are you going to that event?”
“No way,” I whispered. “I am far too jealous.”
I didn’t want to go off.
Because I’ve come to see… women who walk with unaddressed sin are walking time bombs. As time passes, something ticks them off. And it is never pretty.
I don’t want to live exploding jealousy, but exploding love.
So, when I see even the smallest elements, I stop. I just shut it all down – and look. I look for Jesus. And, what I’ve come to see is he leads me, Willy Wonka-style, not into a big chocolate vat – but into the waves of my heart.
When you, first, seek Jesus’ heart, you find yours.
New rhythms of humanity surface. I see humans just like me. I see different missions for different children. I see that other’s great callings in no way diminish mine. I see a daddy meeting me in the gap, with love. I see it all. When I invite Jesus in.
What has soured your sweetness?
Is it a neighbor who is a little show-offy?
A colleague who always does right?
A winner who never loses?
A beautiful gal who, you figure, is BFF with the mirror?
An outgoing one who has it all together?
A successful one who is at the top of the charts?
A relationship you are not a part of?
I think about that crepe again. From another angle, it truly could have represented sugar cubes. That is how sweet it was. But, my kids enjoyed it as much as rock soup.
Jealousy steals our sweetest blessings, so we can’t even see them.
It’s often, not that we don’t have, but that we just don’t see.
What we do see, though, is the girl on the left and the right. Eyes glued, we analyze her clothes, beauty, success and everything else. Then, jealousy speaks up louder – it speaks vile. Chit-chat, that’s mean. Comparison, that’s damaging. Actions, that scar people. Not only that, but it drives us right by God’s plan.
We look back and say, “Where did God go?”
Well, we left him 4 blocks back, nearly right before we hit the lamppost on the side of the road.
Jealousy is crash-route for Christians. Ride or die – baby!
God, though, in his mercy, is something else; He is Savior. He offers us guardrails so we don’t crash. They’ve saved me a time or two.
4 Guardrails for Jealous Hearts:
– Realize: All relationships are permissible, but not all relationships are profitable. If someone is gossipy or comparison-oriented, it may be time to step back. “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive. 1 Cor. 10:23
– Pray: If you lift a person up, instead of critiquing them, you might find you start to love them. You’ll see purpose arise out of hatred. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil. 2:3-4
– Submit: Lay down and see the height of your Father’s love for you. If you believe he is Creator, don’t you believe he will create something amazing on your behalf? My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Jo. 10:27
– Admire: If you can’t deal with girl’s God-shining glory on earth how will you endure God’s numero-uno glory in heaven? You don’t want to look like a fallen angel who can’t handle God’s glory, do you? Choose to admire his glory – in others – today so you can bask in it tomorrow.
Your sweetness is not found at the end of the yellow brick roads, friend, it is found at the end of yourself and the start of the Father that cannot contain his love for you. Get yourself there and your heart will get right.
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My son dug deep in the car, pulling out a prized and loved possession. He smiled. X marked the spot; he found his treasure – his special quarter. Not only that, but he found a trinket for his sister too. Even better! Things were going smooth as fresh brewed coffee on Friday morning, at least for a little while…
Walking into school, an oncoming kid approached.
“Want my quarter?” My son said.
This moment of generosity, made me curl up in anxiety. Why? He’d hate his decision after they boy walked away. He’d be angry that he let go of his favorite quarter. He’d throw a fit all the way to the front door of school, wanting me to go classroom-by-classroom to hunt the kid down. Then, I’d have to demand the thing back. My heart clenched itself and quickened.
He shouldn’t give that loved treasure to a boy he doesn’t know.
He’s going to pant and panic after he gives it away.
I’m going to suffer because he had a do-good idea.
While I tell my son to love like Jesus, loving like Jesus is completely inconvenient.
This thought gets me thinking…
How often do I go to places inconvenient to pour out love?
How often do I push the boundaries of giving, by offering a radically spontaneous gift of blessing?
Not often. I think about the Christians being persecuted; I don’t give much. I think about a friend going through a hard time; I forget to call. I consider an act of kindness; I get embarrassed they might think I am weird. I stay comfortably comfortable.I choose safe-Jesus.
But, I wonder? What if I get off my beaten path, to travel down roads of discomfort – where the likes of leprosy, blindness and poverty – reside? What if I, rather than thinking of comfort, intentionally move into uncomfortable – and extend not just small quarters – but abundant sums?
I sit next to the downcast woman on the city bench – and encourage her.
I walk up to the homeless woman and buy her lunch.
I pursue the depressed one who should have been over it by now and state, “I won’t abandon you.”
I dump money on causes that are closely aligned to Christ’s heart.
I pray wholeheartedly for the person who has deeply hurt me and bless them in secret.
God wants to provide a love transfusion from us – to them.Will we allow it? Will we outpour our very best?
A woman came with a special sealed jar. It contained very expensive perfume made out of pure nard.
She broke the jar open and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. Mk. 14:3
This woman just came right in, no hesitancy is noted.
She just broke the jar, no doubts are described.
She just poured it over Jesus, no worries seemed present.
She saw the opportunity & she acted. BOOM!
Did Jesus have an overwhelming need for perfume? No.
Did she have an overwhelming desire to pour out blessing? Yes. BOOM!
She broke it.
With people watching.
With critical eyes observing.
With a personal cost – and a financial one.
It moved from her heart.
What are you pouring out for Jesus?
Is it mundane or the magnificent?
Is it basic or breathtaking?
Is it ordinary or extraordinary?
Are we dumpers? Love transfusers?
Friends, I won’t lie, 10 times out of 10, I am selfish. But my encouragement is, 10 times out of 10, Jesus is a love transfuser: Christ’ blood poured out – to cover my sins – and yours. (Heb 10:12).
This is our hope today. It is our fresh life. Our beating heart that beats for others.
BOOM! Jesus did it! He acted. Walked. Healed. Loved. Died. Without reservation. Without failing. Without procrastination. Without tallying losses. He didn’t stall. He died.
Why? Because he loves you and he loves me – and then he works through you and through me.
Who are we letting Jesus love?
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