I had something backwards.
SLW quoted John 13:35 last night in a comment on yesterdays post. Immediately I began my same round of thoughts that I'd gone over before. Specifically, how tiring it would be to love everyone.
Loving people, is a lot of work.
I went over in my mind the random different things you can do to show Gods love/Your love for others. When suddenly my backwards thinking was revealed. It's something you probably already know, and if you had spoken this to me, I would have told you I already knew it. I guess you might just call it an "Aha!" moment. But I realized, love is a feeling first, then an action. All the actions that take place prior to love are - according to Paul - not worth much.
I've been praying for the strength to complete an action, all the while completely lacking the feeling. The feeling itself, is something you can read in a persons eyes. You can hear it in their voice. It can be manifested in a simple 2 minute acquaintance at the wal-mart checkout line, or enjoyed throughout a lifetime of friendship. It's a visible thing, that prompts physical things like financial help or transportation, or simple acts like carrying in someones groceries.
But unless those actions are based on the feeling... well again, Paul declares it to have no profit for you. So I find myself praying more for that kind of love. The kind that will be read in my eyes, felt in my touch, and heard in my voice. There are a lot of people that I don't want to look in the eyes though, several people that I wouldn't want to touch with a ten foot pole, and an even larger number that I thank God every time the phone rings that I have caller id and don't always have to answer.
And there are an equal number of times that I just simply don't want to talk. Sometimes I just want to go home, my own less spiritual form of the Garden of Gethsemane, and be alone. And I wonder though, how many times Gods been disappointed in me for walking away from an encounter that He arranged.
It's Gods love that I want. He doesn't screen my prayers, touches my heart when it needs a comforting hand, and has let me know in a thousand different little things that His eyes see me for everything I am -both good and bad- and He still loves me just the same.
Imagine, if my heart held that kind of love for you - for everyone I met. If you met me at wal-mart and felt the warmth of that love would you tell others that you'd met me?