Family, Joy

The Fruit of Love

It was that kind of day. The one filled with homeowner nightmares. Where adulting went way beyond exhausting and we felt driven to the point of being overwhelmed. A classic writers line might be ‘a comedy of error’s’, only I wasn’t laughing anymore and neither was he. How we both kept it together, I have no idea. Every new mess of the day, and I heard him sigh heavy. I only got quieter, just trying to process information so we could make the best move to get around the chaos and keep moving through the day. I’ll save you the disheveled details, but it ended with getting the car jumped so we could haul 3 kids to his office where we could all take a hot shower and eat dinner on paper plates. My bed felt like the kindest thing in my life that night and I drifted asleep in no time.

The next day I still had to work around the ‘broken’ parts of my life, but I had a plan and prayed for no more piling of pulverized things. I pushed through the hoops all morning, eager to reach that afternoon time that I had intentionally set aside for myself to write nearly a month before. So the moment I hit play on my Pandora pick, I peeled an orange and waited for the pinched pain between my shoulders to unwind a little. But the writing wouldn’t come. So I ate an apple and flipped through some favorite books and authors and I prayed, “Lord, I don’t even have a loaf or a fish today, but there are mouths to feed…” And here’s how He answered that, with a tap on the door my husband walked in with a grin on his face and a small box in his hand. Not a word was necessary, he simply opened the mouth of cardboard and a mechanical part of which I do not even know the name of, but I knew it’s purpose and necessity, was lying there in it’s own kind bed of bubble wrap. The long and the short? He’d called all across the nation for this one part (because the company had gone out of business) and found one, I repeat ONE, in Massachusetts, and he’d had it overnighted. He stepped into my writing space with the simple words, “I just wanted to bring you some happiness”.

Suddenly grace and peace rushed over me. You see, it wasn’t just an answer to our hot water problems, it was the small, intentional gift from my Father, God, saying “I love you. I’ve got this”. I could have wept.

At that moment, my spinning world felt steadied, and I knew love had a whole lot to do with it. My high school sweetheart of 20 years had left all of his emails, phone calls, cabinet orders, basically, his entire career, to “bring me happiness”. Love. Who does that? Who stops progress to package up happiness?

Frederick Buechner wrote, “By believing against all odds and loving against all odds, that is how we are to let Jesus show in the world and to transform the world.” Funny how a mechanical part in the mail on a Wednesday could transform a love affair from barely getting through the day to heart pounding joy.

Friend, Jesus loves like that. The moment you’re pretty sure you can’t take another chip out of your soul, the Savior knocks on your door just to bring you happiness. It’s a real thing. He didn’t leave a career, He MADE a career out of showing you all the ways He loves you. He left everything, a manger, a carpentry shop, His family. He left HEAVEN, BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU‼!

That day of blotched belongings left me feeling like the beaten up Jewish man. And verse 34 of Luke 10 cups raw wounds in the kind of kindness that love is. It reads, “Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them.” (NLT).

Friend, I want to talk about the first of the Fruit of the Spirit. It’s love. Plain and simple…and yet complex and life transforming. Author Ann Voskamp says, “Every small gift of grace creates a love quake that has no logical end.”

Christ is like that. He loves without logic, because He creates people. And people are His art. And He breathes His very breath into your lungs. And real, genuine love cannot be stopped by broken pieces, it cannot be held back with regretful words, it cannot believe anything else except that you might love back. He loves you so boldly that He made a commandment out of it. “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” (Luke 10:27 NLT). He simply wants to meet you on the other side of the door so he can bring you happiness. He wants to be the guy soothing your wounds, binding up your broken parts, carrying you to cover. Love does that.

Your Heavenly Father wants to give you good gifts. Love is, maybe, the strongest one of all. I want to explore more of them with you. I plan to write about the Fruits of the Spirit throughout this year, because the planet has a bitter taste to it right now, and I want to remind you that the news is always going to be bad, but God is always going to be good, and He’s going to love you. The evil of the world hisses with the demons of corruption and those demons are armed with quivers full of fears. They aren’t afraid to use them. My prayer is to read, write, and pray through some of the gifts God’s perfect love holds for us. I pray it will become armor for you. To give you tools that aren’t so mechanical, but genuine means to ward off lies swirling around each of us. I hope you’ll join me?

In pure love with Christ,

~kathy b

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