Trying to live love well through the power of the Everlasting.
I broke through some sort of invisible barrier this morning, and drew in a deep breath of clear, crisp air that I once had in abundance. It happened out of the blue; I was flipping through the display on my Kindle Fire and happened to pause as I saw a book pass by. I tapped it, and it opened. I read, randomly, the following:
We may have no idea what road the person standing before us has walked. Your mother may have never had the luxury of a new couch. Or she might simply be unaccustomed to giving a compliment because she has rarely heard one. The cashier may work three jobs, take care of two kids, and have a splitting headache. Or he might simply be slow. Your boss may have stayed up all night working on sales figures for her boss. Or she might simply be disorganized.
Grace moves us to love people even when they disappoint us and sin against us. It moves us to love people even when circumstances are ugly and messy. Gracious love can feel hard and often unfair. Others may not deserve our love. Others may not earn our love. God could say the same about us.
There is no need to hoard God’s love or parcel it out with caution. Love, as the first fruit of the Spirit, transforms our affection so that, in the words of Frederick Buechner, “little by llttle compassionate love begins to change from a moral exercise, from a matter of gritting our teeth and doing our good deed for the day, into a joyous, spontaneous, self-forgetting response to the most real aspect of all reality, which is that the word is holy because God made it and so is every one of us as well.”
-LifeSpace: The practice of life with God by Joni Grace Powers and Robert Pyne
I didn’t read the passage in context. I just started reading the first place my eyes fixed on the screen. As I kept going, a familiar rush spread through me. I’d not felt the Spirit of the Living God like this in months. Literally. Ah! The beauty and wonder and power of the moment floored me. My haughty spirit crushed, my comfortable arrogance and routine demolished.
I whispered to Papa that I was sorry for hoarding his love. I put the Kindle down and went about my day as the air quickly thinned and my lungs once again kept gasping for breath.
But not even the thin air could shake the feeling in my chest that my Papa hasn’t forgotten me.
He’s got me. I’ll be so much more than fine.
I’ll thrive again when it’s time.