I know many of you have heard me say that God has me in a season of "loving better". I am not even certain what this means or entails, but I know that God is working in and through me to make me into the "lover" that He has created me to be. The process has been surprisingly intense, painful, refining and lovely, all at the same time. God has enlarged the expanses of my heart. He has brought me face to face with the lies that have bound me since childhood. He has literally ripped shrapnel from my past, has bandaged those broken places with His tenderness and His oil of joy, and is massaging my heart back to wholeness.
Is God calling you to "love better"? To have a little more grace for that co-worker that gets on your nerves. To provide "random acts of kindness" to someone. To pray a blessing over someone you don't get along with.
My daughter's teacher pulled me aside at the beginning of the year and told me a story of how Lexi loved well. There is a girl in Lexi's class named Cassie that has special needs. She struggles with anger and had been physically abusive in prior settings. Every day, Lexi came into school and hugged Cassie. Her friends made fun of her, but she kept doing it. She always included Cassie in her recess activities and offered to sit by her at lunch. Lexi's teacher told Lexi that it wasn't safe to hug on Cassie like she did because Cassie had anger problems and could really hurt Lexi. Lexi felt really bad, but listened to her teacher. That very day, at the end of the school day during "Gratitude Attitudes" (telling who/what they are grateful for), when it was Cassie's turn, Cassie said, "I am grateful for my only friend Lexi. Because she hugs me everyday. And that makes me not want to hit anyone." Lexi was allowed to hug Cassie everyday thereafter. God is speaking to the hearts of our children, as well as into ours.
Daddy, give us opportunities to love better. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear the needs of those around us. Bring us to a place of preferring others over ourselves. Help us to be sensitive to the situations you bring us into at home, in our places of fellowship, at church and at work. Use us Lord to love the unlovable, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, encourage the despairing, and rescue (pray for) the oppressed. We give you our hands and feet, we give you our hearts and minds, we give you our finances and our possessions. We acknowledge that everything we have has been given to us by You, our loving Daddy. We cast our eyes on You, the source of our peace and our hope; the author and perfector of our lives. Draw us near so that we may know You more deeply, so that we have even more to give back to You and to others... Amen.
Blessings, my friends. May you be refreshed by the love of our Daddy today.