Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dirty and Uncomfortable

The little toddler wobbles across the yard; the mud puddle looming in front of him.  As if drawn to the puddle like a magnet, he trips and falls head first into the mud.  Imagine Mom just staring at him, as he wails.  She decides not to pick him up, because he'll get her dirty.  Sure, she didn't fall in the puddle, but what would her friends think to see the mud on her shirt?  Instead, she tells him to get out of the pit.  Clean himself up.

On the other side of town, the man is brought into the ER with a serious chainsaw injury.  Blood is spurting everywhere.  The doctor gets close enough to survey the situation.  Instead of putting a tourniquet on the wound to stop the bleeding, the doctor tells the young man this is what he gets for "playing" with something so dangerous.  He turns on his heels and goes back to talk with this doctor friends, all in their white coats.

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Love is dirty.  Love is uncomfortable.

God is love.  Not "like" love.  Not a "representation" of love or a "symbol" of love.  The Bible says "God is love." in 1 John 4:16.  If someone IS something, it only makes sense to look to that person as the example.  So, how did God show love?  One big way is to look at John 3:16:  "For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not die, but have everlasting life."  He loved us so much that He gave His son as ransom for our sins.

Maybe that's not enough for you.  Maybe you need to see how Jesus, God's son, showed love in the human form.  First, He became man.  That in itself is huge.  There is no more "getting dirty and uncomfortable" than leaving the throne in Heaven to become a carpenter's son on Earth.  His whole life on Earth is a lesson on "dirty and uncomfortable" love.

When his dear friend, Lazarus, died, Jesus went to his tomb.  Lazarus' sisters were understandably consumed with sorrow.  Jesus didn't give pat advice.  Instead, He wept.  I don't know about you, but when I weep, I get dirty.  I'm a big mess; snot dripping, breath hiccuping.  And I'm vulnerable.  When you weep, you are so exposed.  Uncomfortable.

John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, tells us many stories of Jesus' love.  In the 13th chapter of John, he says, "having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love."  The chapter goes on to describe how Jesus (God) washed the dirt, dust, and dung off His disciples' feet.  That had to be a dirty, uncomfortable position.  Yet, He did it to set an example for us.

"No servant is greater than his master."  If Jesus got dirty and uncomfortable in loving others, why do we think we are above it?  He said "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick."  He spent time with the sinners because He loved them and they needed to hear His message.  He didn't worry about what the religious leaders would think of Him.  We must not care about getting dirty or uncomfortable.  On judgement day, we will stand before God and He will give an account of how we used this life on Earth.  "Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." Matthew 25:45.

So, how do we love?  Really love?  Dirty, uncomfortable love?  Weep with the new widow.  Wash the laundry for a new mom.  There is a song by Chris Tomlin that says, "Who You love, I'll love.  How You serve, I'll serve".

Read the Scriptures yourself.  Read the book of John, who wrote about God's loving nature.  Do, as He did. 

Jesus said, "now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." John 13:17.

Go get dirty!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Keeping Children Entertained

How to keep your children entertained in a parked car for an hour, in the snow:
1. Tell them to breathe on the windows (all of them) and fog them up. Believe me, it's so much fun.
2. Turn on the magic (defrost) button and watch your fog magically disappear.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the magic is gone.
4. Turn on the radio, really loud, and have a lip-syncing contest (what is it with me and lip-syncing?).
5. By the 5th song, this will slowly change into a dance contest.
6. If you have a good radio station (or iPod I suppose), you can get at least 30 minutes out of step 5.
7. Your mini-van will suddenly become an octagon and your cute little dancers will morph into MMA fighters. For those of you who don't have any testosterone at home, MMA is Mixed Martial Arts.
8. Someone will end up with a blood nose. Do NOT repeat step 7.

where Glory meets my suffering