repost from 2.18.11
“…Love never fails…”
I Corinthians 13:8
Something horrible happened to me the other day, and it was my fault.
Like I do with lots of people every Sunday, I introduced myself to a woman who stood waiting near the front. Nothing remarkable about her. Brownish hair, smallish frame, an ordinary woman on an ordinary day in the midst of ordinariness.
She looked at me a little odd.
I chattered on about the weather, the cold, how long had she been going to Solid Rock? Ordinary stuff.
Her lip started to quiver just a tad- no drama, just a barely perceptible hint of hurt. Her eyes filled.
Worried, but still basically clueless, I asked for her name and told her mine, holding out my hand, being all nice… and normal.
That’s when she finally fell apart.
And that’s when I finally saw her.
Just two weeks before, this ordinary woman had taken extraordinary risk and opened her hidden hurts to me. Real hurts about bad things. Pain unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. Raw suffering.
I’d taken her into my arms and prayed for her… walked away with the promise to pray some more. Then trotted off into my ordinary world with ordinary pressures and promptly forgot.
How could I do that? What does that say about me? Don’t I care?
Over and over I’ve berated myself for that day. Hoping to hear the Father excuse me. Wanting Him to cover my callousness with nice words like, “How can you expect to remember everyone you meet? With all these people crowding this place, no one can be friends with every one. At least you try.”
But all I hear is the echo of her loneliness.
The truth is I don’t really love her. Not enough.
If it had been my sister pouring her story into my lap, I’d have hung on every word…prayed every day… searched for words from the Word to bring her hope and courage and truth.
Instead I forgot. I moved on. Another troubled soul in a world of wounded women. Ordinary.
The truth is my love is really thin. Meager. Miserly. Sometimes it doesn’t last longer than an after-church conversation and a quick prayer.
I say I love. I want to love. I even feel love.
But…love doesn’t forget the sorrows of a woman weeping in my arms.
Love doesn’t just step over someone’s wreckage and move seamlessly into ordinary. Not real love. Not Jesus love. Not the kind of love that hung on a Cross and bled for that woman.
And so today, instead of berating, I confess it. Out loud. With all of you listening in, I admit that I am a failed lover. My heart is still, after all these years of listening, not even close to being like His.
And there’s not a thing I can do about it. I know full well that I can’t make it a goal or cross it off a list or drum it up or name it and claim it and call it my own.
But He can. And now that I know what He knows, I can let Him. Because He has this crazy way of making me like Himself just when I get a glimpse of who I really am.
Its called love… wild, beautiful, stick-to-it, passionate love that changes me into someone who actually, really, honestly loves back. And who never forgets again.
From my heart,
Is He teaching you something similar?