Since we are pondering, let’s ponder a word that can either offer a warm mushy feeling in the pit of our hearts or bring up bile in the pit of our liver. So, my science may be a bit off (or right on, who knows?), but that’s a representation of my love: it may be a bit off.
Remember how I said learn comes before love in my tagline? And that I had a reason for the placement?
Learn, love and serve at home and beyond.
That’s because we have to learn to love.
Learning to Love
It took very little repetition to learn to love some things in life: fluffy clouds floating by on a sunny day, brilliant orange trees in the autumn, a golden-red sunset in the desert.
You thought I’d say “chocolate,” didn’t you? I would have, except I have had to UN-learn to love chocolate (dairy allergies) and am in the process of learning to love paying the price of non-dairy chocolate.
Is It Worth the Price?
And that’s what learning to love humans is like for me: Is it worth the price? (Just being honest.)
I know, I am a Christian. I am supposed to love everyone unconditionally with the love of Christ. I try. I really do. And I pray and I ask God for help and I mull Bible verses. But still, at times and in some circumstances, it doesn’t come naturally. Or even supernaturally.
Sometimes my heart still feels like liver.
Just What We Need in a Savior
Now, keep in mind, I’m still writing pre-trip, even though by the time you read this I should be home and sleeping soundly in my once-electric bed.
Anything I am writing about today (still Jan 3rd) has nothing in particular to do with my train travels or those I encountered and visited with.
If I failed at loving fully, completely, Christ-fully – which is a fear I have – then I will do what I do practically every day of my life:
- Apologize to God for not having it all together, and
- Throw myself on His mercy.
And you know what? He picks me up from the foot of the cross, takes me by the hand and walks with me. And that’s just what I need in a Savior.
Whatchoo Talkin’ ‘Bout, Girl?
So why all this learn to love talk?
You might be wondering, but I’m not gonna say. At least not in any detail.
I can stay generic because we all have situations, many times more than one, that cause our hearts to act like livers.
For example, I have had someones in my life whom I couldn’t love the way they wanted me to love them because the way they wanted me to love them wasn’t a safe way to love them.
I carried condemnation around with me like a 50-lb sack of potatoes. But my shoulders got aching. I had to set it down.
I had to be imperfect.
Like I wasn’t already, right? I just had to admit it.
I Like A+s
I want to get an A+ on every test I take. (Just ask my parents, my teachers, my family, the ladies in my Sunday School class. They know my obsession.)
- Some tests aren’t as open book as we’d like them.
- Some tests we are just plain too exhausted to keep studying for.
- Some tests don’t have an answer key. Or if they do, the Teacher hasn’t let me peek. Yet.
One day, it will all be clear. But for now, it’s as clear as mud.
Walking in the Mud … With Us
Thank God He walks with us in the midst of the mud and lets us lean hard on His shoulders, our arms linked with the strength of the carpenter, who builds lives nail, by nail, by nail.
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.” Psalm 138:7 NKJV
He paid the price of my imperfection.
He’s the love we’re all looking for in each other.
If you are reading this and haven’t been loved perfectly or can’t seem to love perfectly, look to the Only One who can fill those shoes.
You will find they are sandals.