1 John 4:7-8
"Dear Friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
This was the verse of the day today on my Bible App. I have to say today was a really crummy day, that just added to the crummy day that was yesterday in light of the Boston Marathon and the terrorist attack. Today I was bombarded with bad news. Turn on the TV and there is the carnage of the marathon, the lack of answers, and the weak sounds of the government. Frankly it concerns me when our President says, "they will feel the full weight of justice." It is because my definition of justice is completely different then his. That is for another blog though.
The bad news begins. I get to work and learn the daughter of a former co-worker has been abused by someone who worked at her school. Tears filled my eyes, and my heart sank, thinking of the devastation and shame she must be feeling. If my memory serves correctly, she is only in the 2nd grade. My work with Beauty for Ashes, an abuse ministry, gives me unique insight as to the road she will have to walk because someone stole her innocence.
The day goes on. An email about the pending death of a friend of my mother-in-law. A sweet woman who has lived with Alzheimer's for quite sometime. Then a message of another friend who has survived cancer once before, to find two new tumors. After work I got a mysterious email from the son of an old friend of my mothers who is looking for my mom. He wanted to tell my mom about the death of his mother. This news does not even include the death of my husband's uncle, or the dear friend who was in a car accident on Monday.
I stand and say....NO MORE BAD NEWS!!!!
As I prayed through out the day for all these needs. I asked God, what am I suppose to do? I start thinking of scripture. The first the verse that comes to mind says," Count it all joy when various trials......" Then I think, no that is not right. In my heart I hear," Shine the light." Prayerfully I confess, I am sad, I am tired and in my state, I am not sure how I can get it together and shine the light. How do you shine the light when things seem so sad? How do you show God when the world around you is so broken and you feel broken and your heartaches for the lives of the people around you.
The answer came to me quite clearly: LOVE!
That brings me back to the verse of the day. "Let us love one another, love comes from God....God is love." It also says, " whoever does not love, does not know God." I look around at the people I know, the community I live in, and so-on and so-on. It is easy to say that the world needs God, but I would like to interchange the word God with what the scripture says God is, and that is LOVE. The world needs love. If you are like me you are thinking of old song right now. But can it really be that simple?
The Bible says, "...the greatest of these is love." When I say love, I don't mean the worldly view. As a matter of fact that is our problem. It is like love is assumed to be this great one night stand, or the complicated dragged out romantic relationship on a sitcom. Don't even get me started on the Twilight series! I know there are many of you that love that series, but I am sorry to say I am stuck thinking that it is not only disgusting to love a vampire, but I find it even more disturbing that he is like 500 years old and she is like 17.
Love is so much more than we think or give attention to. Everyone uses the love chapter in their wedding, 1 Corinthians 13, but how do we really love each other. In my house, love often comes out in frustration; have a bad day, take it out on our safe people instead of cherishing them. We often hold records of wrongs long after we say we have forgiven. How many times do we sacrifice something we really want, for someone else? Can you imagine the bright light we could shine if we spent more time loving and sacrificing for one another? The key, less me, more sacrifice, more love, and more GOD.
As I wrap up a long day filled with bad news, and heartbreak, all of the sudden, I can't help but feel loved. God loves me, because, "love comes from God and God is love." It doesn't matter, what news I hear and the sadness that may follow. God is mighty! I know that I am not alone, and that I am loved greatly. "So let us love one another" and shine the light of God in the darkness and sadness around us. I choose to love and forget whatever sadness I may have, and let go of the "ME mentality." I am going to shine the light and love others, even on days when I don't want to.
The bible says: "Love never fails," because, "God is love." I am going to trust in God who is love no matter what the news of the day brings.
This is my mindset, now let me hear yours!