We’ve all lost someone we love. Whether it was a pet, friend, or family member, every one of us has lost.
The pain is indescribable, usually.
I had a loss recently that left me riddled with guilt and feeling like I’d taken someone for granted.
I wanted to take back everything that happened and do one thing: love more.
My friend is gone, and I just wish I could have shown more love. More grace. More attention. More and more love.
In my fruitless wishes about this, God spoke to my heart. I felt Him nudging me. Love more now.
I get so wrapped up in what we’re doing in our own tiny lives, that I forget there are real, hurting people all around me. My neighbors. And I have the opportunity to love them more now, before it’s too late. I have every opportunity to show them the love of Jesus now.
Jesus had something to say about that. But, before I remind you of it, I need to address one thing. People these days do not showcase their hurt and pain. We don’t have people sitting by the city gate with leprosy, missing arms, blindness, or lesions. Today, we have people with hearts filled with pain and brokenness. Depressed. Lonely. Feeling like they’re never enough. Abused. Abandoned. And they don’t sit at the city gate; they sit in our living rooms, chatting about kids, work, and local happenings. They camouflage their pain out of fear – afraid of being judged and ridiculed.
Those are the people who need us to love more. To show them that we are filled with grace and hope, not judgement and wrath. Judgement and wrath are NOT our jobs. Those two things belong to God alone.
Quick Story: A man was walking on a road, taking a trip. Suddenly, he was stripped of his clothes, robbed of all that he had, and beaten almost to death. The robbers left him on the side of the road. He laid on the side of the road, dying. A priest came down the road, saw the man and avoided him, walking on his way. Another man also saw the dying man on the road, but he also avoided him and went on his way. Finally, a third man came to the dying man on the road. He saw him, and took pity on him. He went to the dying man, bandaged his wounds, and took him to the closest hotel to take care of him. He went out of his way to make sure the hurt man was cared for. This third man was one we all know as The Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37)
The best part of the story comes at the end, when Jesus asks, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
They answered, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told them, “Go and do likewise.”
Your neighbor is anyone you come into contact with. Your neighbors are not just the people who live around you in homes. It is anyone you see wherever you go.
Jesus clearly says here that we are to have mercy on all those we come into contact with.
So, my challenge to you is this: seek those around you who may be hurting (and hiding that hurt) and love them more.
I feel like God is taking me on a journey. A journey of giving more. A journey of expecting less. A journey of loving more. A journey where I may be disappointed by what I’m not getting. But, that’s really not the point. Jesus came to love. I’m sure He was disappointed many times when He didn’t get what He wanted (gourmet food, naps, accommodations, rest, and love). But, still, Jesus gave. He gave and gave and gave. Even when He was extremely tired. (Can all the Mamas in the house say “Oh, yeah!”?) And in the end, He gave his life out of love for others — all of us.
I challenge you, to take every opportunity to show love. Give your heart of service to others, for Jesus. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus, taking His love to everyone around us.
There is no guarantee you won’t be hurt, pushed away, and rejected. Jesus was.
But God sees all that you do and where your heart is. So, try today to love more. Show grace and mercy to everyone you encounter. And love more.
As Jesus said, “Go and do…”