Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love One Another: The Cost of Love and the Low Rate of Return

A friend of mine posted the following blog this morning.  As we approach Valentine's Day, I thought the theme of loving one another seemed to fit well.  I love reading other blogs because all of our perspectives are different when looking at the Kingdom of God and what it should look like.  In reading the thoughts of others, we often have that "light bulb" of revelation flash on and wonder to ourselves, "Why didn't I think of that?"  It may be a concept so simple, but because it was generated from another mind, it's revealed a fresh, new and vibrant.  The words of my friend Brother David Hutton represent just such a scenario and what it means to really love one another in the realm of God's Kingdom.    

We all long to see the love of God moving in people's lives through His Spirit.  We all want to see transformation and our efforts produce fruit for the Kingdom of God.  But the problem is, none of us are promised any of this in each and every situation.  As followers of Christ, we're called to be obedient to Him, His call in our life and furthering His Kingdom.  We aren't promised accolades and pats on the back.  We're not guaranteed measurable success in our ministry endeavors.  When we love others, as Christ loves us, we are never promised that others will love us back. (John 13:34-35)  What we can be assured of is that when we take steps of obedience to Christ, He is faithful and will use each word, each prayer, every touch and every dollar spent to advance His Kingdom here on earth.  Not an ounce of humble effort for God will remain ineffective.  Brother David reminds us of this in the following words.  
"Recently I was terminated by an incarcerated gentleman with-whom I had worked the last several months. He sent, I suppose, what could be considered the equivalent of a 'Franciscan Dear John Letter' to me from prison. He made it quite clear he didn't need my friendship or prayerful support, but instead money in his canteen fund.

He let me know honestly that he didn't appreciate anytime spent o
n prayer on his behalf, the sort of support he needed was someone who could give him a place to live and a job once he was released.

I read his letter several times over (which wasn't hateful or mean spirited) and I even jotted some notes in reply, but in the end, I saw he spoke his truth plainly and honestly and threw my reply in the trash.

Had I fumbled? Maybe he thought my prayer was to change him? Instead of asking God to guide him. Had I come across with a little too much 'preferential option for the poor'? Did I lose the Man, while looking for the Soul?

Oh, I won't lie to you. I wanted him to see a loving God. One without all the trappings we some time place on God. You know the one; "God is Love". I wanted him to see the God who created us All in that image. Without exception, but I won't shove that down anyone's throat.

Maybe he knows this God of Love, but for some unsettling reason, I fear he doesn't, and that bothers me a lot. It's tough enough some days when we do know God, let alone when we think he doesn't exist or is the white bearded man casting lightening bolts on people from a golden throne in heaven. 
I don't know the outcome of this particular situation, but I hope just the same." 

None of us know the outcome of this situation, David.  But what we do know is that God does.  He knows each and every aspect of this man's future journey, and will use every amount of effort, every prayer and every loving word that you uttered as a follower of His Son, Jesus Christ.

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