It was just my church newsletter.
It was just a Bible verse at the top of the page.
And now, I believe, the words are permanently seared into my heart.
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5: 1-3, The Message
Do I love like that? Am I even capable of emanating a love that profound, that free, that unencumbered by strings? Is this even a possibility?
When I think about my day and all that entails, do I spend the majority of it loving? Sure, the actions that I perform may come across as being loving, but is that my true motivation?
Before turning out the light, I offer my husband a back scratch. Secretly, I hope that he is going to return the favor and massage my own aches and pains.
I call my neighbor and invite her kids over to play. She offers to come over to help, but I tell her to savor the moments she is in her house alone. Secretly, I hope she returns the favor next week so I can get a few minutes of sanity myself.
I leave comments on every blog I visit, offering encouragement, a laugh, or a sympathetic word. Secretly, I hope they are going to travel to my own blog and leave a few precious words for me.
I am not good at loving like that.
I watch what God does through the actions of Jesus and I see Him, even after a long days work, still toiling in the fields for the harvest. And when He feels He can give no more, He retires to a solitary place to commune with the Giver of All Good Things.
Perhaps if I choose to keep company with God, even just a little bit more, His ways of loving may inspire me to drop the charade and love with abandon. Knowing that God spends the majority of His day loving means that when I feel as though I am lacking something, all that is necessary is for me to turn to the Source. Instead of stealthily trying to give with one hand and receive with the other at the same time, I can humbly beseech my Heavenly Father and ask Him to fill me in whatever way He knows best. The more I am overflowing with Jesus, the less room there is for my self and my selfish motivations. Knowing that I can surrender my needs to God allows me to give extravagantly of myself. Knowing that He hems me in and lifts me up, I can listen for His prompting as He leads me to into a life of servanthood and a life of love.
I want to love like that.
Jen Ferguson, Finding Heaven