I was talking with a friend the other day who said, “what do you think that guy’s problem is?”
Now, I have a job where people often tell me what their problem is, so the question isn’t as harsh as it sounds, but before I could sort my response, the following answer slipped from my mouth:
“He doesn’t have enough love, I think. Like most of us. He just needs more love.”
I’m always encouraged when I get the right answer in spite of myself. When it happens I’m reassured that my choice to believe the Holy Spirit dwells in me just like the scriptures say, is correct. Also, it allows me to give credit where credit is due. Thanks for that one Lord!
When people act out, when they are dismissive or arrogant or just plain crazy and rude, we can talk all day about the behavior, but that’s all smoke. The fuel to those flames, I think, is nearly always a ferocious longing for love.
Most of my elaborately weird behavior can be traced to this source. So if you’re around me much, make a note. However, I’m pretty sure no matter how much or well you love me, the only love that steadies my heart and makes me feel rich and complete, comes from Jesus. Believe me. I’ve tried it lots of ways.
Jesus says this about that:
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, it is he that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
So, two things:
1. I can’t get it without Him and if I don’t have it, I sure can’t give it to you.
2. As much as I want to love you well, I can’t be your source. He has to be.
Oh and that word abide…it’s tricky for me. Put another way: Be present with intention and practice, but my gosh that feels like work and I don’t need another thing to improve. Do you feel like you’re failing because you don’t abide enough?
Well friends, what if abiding looked like this…
You know how your child, maybe age three or four, smells when he is fresh from the tub? He’s all zipped up in his jammies and ready for bed, when he spies you reading the paper. So he walks in and climbs into your lap. You mute the tv, and wrap your arms around his warm, little body, holding him close against your chest. Just then you catch that scent, the one that belongs only to him, the one you’d know anywhere. He doesn’t want anything from you. He doesn’t need anything. He’s just choosing the warmest, best place to end his day. And the two of you sit together a while and talk about birds.
What if we abide like that? Is that easier?
Tonight, this is how I choose to abide, believing with full confidence that as I climb into his lap, my God is utterly wrecked by me and my choice to end my day resting in his arms; letting him love me until his heart nearly breaks and his cup runs over into mine.