let justice and praise become my embrace

figuring out the art of losing myself to better know Him

love is difficult action Saturday, 17 February 07

Filed under: LOVE — joyunspeakable @ 11:40 pm

Today as I was walking to Checkers (for the second time this morning) with Gareth, Struan, and Adebayo, a homeless woman was hit by a car. I heard the sound and turned around to see what had happened. The person lay motionless on the pavement (I didn’t know it was a woman until we got closer). As we approached, it was clear to see that she was seriously hurt. Instinctively I began to pray under my breath, restraining my desire to run over to her side. As we stood there, I began to feel frantic- should I pray outloud? Should I call the police? Should I move her out of the road? What do I do?
Never have I felt so utterly helpless. The whole scene was unreal and I was shocked at how calm I was, looking back. Even when she began to splurt blood from her mouth and nostrils, I didn’t lose control of my emotions. My mind was thinking a thousand thoughts a minute. Fear gripped my heart. Fear for the woman’s wellbeing. Fear of praying out loud. Fear of what others might think if I tried to help.
Most people told us to not touch her, she might have a broken neck. But as I stood there looking at her in her helpless state, coughing up blood and not even being able to breathe, I could not believe that NO ONE was touching her. Not even holding her hand. I knelt and grabbed her hand, but I still didn’t know what to do.
Eventually Gareth convinced me that the ambulance would come for her. I didn’t want to budge, I wanted to do something that would actually help her, but what would that be? Fear kept me where I was. We walked into the grocery store and as I found an empty aisle, I walked down it, letting the tears run freely.
How could I have just stood there as the poor woman lay on hot concrete, surrounded by strangers? What if it hadn’t been the woman, but one of my DTS friends that had gotten hit? I would’ve run to their side right away and talked to them, stroked their hair…SOMETHING!!! What the hell is wrong with me? As soon as we got home, I ran up to a roof balcony with my pillow and cried into it. I told God how sorry I was for not loving her. For not doing anything. For letting fear dictate my actions. For being apathetic. I could sense him telling me not to feel guilty. And as I quieted down, he gave me peace. But he then began to speak to me something that I think will change my life.
He wants me to change how I view people. Every single human being is made in the image of God, therefore has infinite value. Every person is loved by God equally. Why had I hesitated at the accident? Because in my heart I believed that her life, as a homeless beggar woman, was not as valuable as someone who had a car, a house, a family, nice clothes. What a lie. I thought maybe she would be fine, like it was okay that she was bleeding from her mouth and nose. It seemed so natural for her to be there on the ground, when in reality, who knows what they are supposed to do when they are in pain? Does anyone plan on getting hit by cars, can you take a class where they teach you how to respond in a situation like that? No!
It was too easy for me to just take her hand and pray silently. God is challenging me to love people and love is difficult action. Love should be hard to do. Often times I have the right heart intentions, but don’t show love in a true way. For instance, the street kids I see every day on my way to Checkers, I have started to give them food every now and again. Is that love? At first glance, one might say yes. But it’s not. For me, it’s something easy to do that has made me feel better about passing them by. But what if I were to sit down with them, hold them, talk to them, laugh with them, really get to know them? That would be real love. That would not be easy to do. And that is what God is telling me to do.
Never again will anyone lie alone in pain if I am there. I will hold their hand, talk to them, sing to them, pray for them… without regard to what anyone says or thinks. I want to be the love of Jesus to everyone I meet.
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'” -Matthew 25:40
I want to see the face of Jesus when I look into people’s faces. Imago Dei. I want to stop giving people different value in my own mind, I want to see the great value they have in God’s eyes, and treat them as such.
May you love today without holding back for fear of anything. May you love in such a way that the world sees something radically different in you. May that love draw people to Jesus.

 

Saturday, 20 January 07

Filed under: LOVE — joyunspeakable @ 3:29 am

God has been speaking to me about his Love. Now, I have often thought of God’s love toward me as being a love that a Father has towards his child, or the love of a good Shepherd toward a stupid sheep (ironically my name means “ewe”) or the love of a Great God toward his creation…or the love of a Friend. But I have often struggled with honestly relating with the whole God as the lover of my soul.
I would rather have a real, tangible, physical person who loves me romantically. I would rather be pursued by a person…I often seek the approval and attention of guys in my life, though not in an explicitly needy manner. I say that I believe God loves me and that he is pursuing a love relationship with me, but when it all boils down to it, I find it hard to feel loved by him.
Last night, our team had a time where we just waited on God to hear how much he loved us. We were told that we could also go to someone else and pray for them or speak God’s thoughts toward them…so I did. Near the end of our time, I went to go pray for Arun and when I was done, he looked at me and told me that Jesus loves me. I was like, “Yeah, I know that…” Then he said, “And you need to ask him to prove it to you. He wants to show you.”
Now, I have always felt like it’s incredibly cocky or demanding to ask God to prove his love to me after what he did- sending his son to die for me and all. Shouldn’t that be enough? In my life, I have often wanted to ask God to “prove it”, but have been too afraid of being like a whiny insecure female. You know, that whole “If you really love me…..fill in the blank.” But here God was with a proposition. I didn’t know what to expect, but I decided to ask God to romance me, to capture my heart…to really demonstrate to me (in a way that was special to me) his love for me.
I sat on the veranda and prayed something like this: “Okay God, I realize that you want to romance me. But here’s the deal. I don’t want a one time thing. If you prove your love for me in a personal way, then I am going to want that every day for the rest of my life. And since you are GOD, I am going to expect it to get better every day too. If you are up to doing that, if you think you can do that….impress me, woo me, whatever….then go ahead.”
Pretty cheeky, I guess, looking back. But at that very moment, I heard it begin to rain. Now, from what I hear, rain is VERY uncommon in Muizenberg. It is always sunshine here. It gets really windy sometimes, but rain…not so much.
I have a thing for rain. I love it. It moves me and excites me and makes me want to dance in it. And God knows that. So I walked out from under the roof of the veranda and stood in the rain, already feeling my heart melt. It was not just any rain. It was the perfect kind of rain…the most perfect rain I could’ve thought up. It was not too cold, it had a nice sound to it, but it was not heavy, therefore I could stand in it without getting drenched. But it wasn’t misty to the point where it wasn’t really rain, you know? It was beautiful. And in that moment I KNEW that it was all for me. No one else. For me.
It stopped almost as quickly as it had begun and then I went to my Bible and opened it. I asked God to give me something to read that would clearly show me his love for me. I flipped it open and it opened to Proverbs. Proverbs= wisdom. Wisdom doesn’t exactly make me feel loved. Mildly disappointed and thinking, “C’mon God, I want a fresh revelation of your love…” I flipped the pages again. The first verse I laid eyes on read, “How beautiful you are, my darling, oh how beautiful!” My eyes skimmed the rest of that page which was filled with crazy analogies of the woman’s neck being like a tower and teeth like sheep or something like that…not exactly what moves me…and then- “All beautiful you are, my darling, there is no flaw in you.”

He said it so simply that I almost thought it was just my own thoughts. But no, I know that it was God. At that, I realized that yes, God wants to court my heart. He wants to win me over. He wants to impress me with ridiculous things like rain and poetry…he wants to reveal beauty to me. He wants me to understand that He is pursuing my heart.
So, that is something I have been learning. And the cool thing is that God wants to romance YOU. He knows each of our hearts and what things make us tick…because he created us with those longings- those longings that can only be met through HIM.

And he is glorified in our receiving his love. So…my challenge to you is this. Ask him to show you how he loves you. Ask God to show you what He says about you. Who he says you are. Because He is longing to prove to you that He is pleased with you, that you have what it takes. Reject the stupid lies that the enemy has fed you all these years. And then replace them with what God says about you. Because what God says is TRUTH. May He romance your hearts, ladies. May he strengthen your soul and build you up, men. May nothing hinder you from receiving His love.
He loves you so much.