Put a Little Love in Your Heart


Jen’s Gem: Love is the answer. Spread a little more and the rewards will be sweeter than candy.

Holy_WeekNext week is Holy Week – the week leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The events of the week are the foundation of the Christian faith. Believing that Jesus is the Son of God and that He rose from the dead.
I can’t imagine what that week was like in Jesus’ mind. While He knew He was fulfilling His life’s purpose, clearly He must’ve been scared. He must’ve wished He could somehow escape the pain and torture that awaited Him. We know this because He asked God to ‘remove this cup’. However, these words were quickly followed by “not My will but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

 For thirty or so years, Jesus walked the earth knowing that His time here would be short. It would be peppered with trials. Friends would betray and desert Him. He would be mocked and bullied for the messages He shared. He would be tempted to stray from His purpose by evil-doers.
But, He also would see great transformation both physically and spiritually among the people He encountered. He would perform miracle after miracle that would leave onlookers in awe. Sadly, those same awestruck people would eventually be the ones who yelled “crucify Him” in His final hours. 

“No Backsies!”

 But yet as He hung on that cross, He did not utter words of hatred or pass judgement on His accusers. He asked God to forgive them because they had no idea what they were doing. They’d no idea that the person they were putting to death and yelling obscenities at was the Son of God. No idea that is… until three days later.
My human brain wanted Jesus to go around to all those unbelievers and say “See? Told ya I would come back. Bet you wish you wouldn’t have said those things to Me. Oh well, no backsies.” However, Jesus said or did none of those things. More importantly, these words likely never crossed His mind at all. Jesus is not about condemnation. He’s about love.
In fact, He’s only about love. Unconditional, doesn’t matter if you’re a hot mess love. Not love when it’s convenient or has something in it for Him. That’s not how it works. His love is constant, undeniable and unfathomable to us mere mortals. 



A Birthday Surprise

 We don’t know much about His kind of love these days. But yesterday I got a teensy glimpse. I attended my great niece’s first birthday party. She is a full-on walker now so holding her for long periods of time is near impossible. She’s gotten a taste of freedom and she’s hooked!
But I was able to steal her for a few moments and hold her close to me as I had when she was immobile. I brought her to the window of the restaurant and pointed out the ‘birdees’ as I had so many times before. I nuzzled my face into her sweet little neck and gave her raspberries. I saw that familiar tiny smile come over her face.
Over the noise of the restaurant I heard a faint sound. As I listened more closely, I heard what sounded like humming – an internal tune she let escape from her tiny mouth. She’d stop and I would respond in kind. A short duet between this precious child and her great aunt.

Amidst the bustle of the restaurant, we found a quiet moment to share and I was in heaven. My heart burst with love for her. All was well with the world.

I couldn’t help but think – this is how God feels about us. This is His kind of love. Pure. Simple. Healing. Oh what a world we’d have if we could only love others the way God loves us. 

How Do I Say This?

 I walked through my home today wondering if this was the right message to share. Other topics popped into my head as I sipped the liquid gold that erased my sleep. Since I began this post yesterday, I was tempted to head to my laptop to finish it and delay my prayer time. However I clearly heard “put God first” so instead, I reached for my Bible. Here’s the passage I’m on today.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)

If that’s not a confirmation, I don’t know what is!

Whether or not you participate in or acknowledge Holy Week, I want to encourage you to spend time this week looking for and sharing love. Pick up an extra coffee for your colleagues in the office. Let someone take that parking spot closer to the store. Hug your kids just a moment longer. Call your mom.
Notice how you feel afterwards. Remember that feeling and know it’s only a sliver of the love God has for you.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)

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