At a recent outreach event our church held, kids were given air brush tattoos. They got to pick from many different stencils. A little girl chose the heart stencil. When I asked her why she said, “because love is important”.
The more time I spend around children, the more I appreciate the words of Jesus when He said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Kids tend to get the simplicity of Jesus’s message. Love Me, love My Father, love other people. Simple.
Jesus touched people who were untouchable, He extended forgiveness to sinners, He embraced the unlovely and welcomed children into His arms. He dined with tax collectors and sinners and hung out with some people we might have overlooked. Every time He healed someone, it was motivated by love. And people around Him just scratched their heads and wondered who this friend of sinners was. They missed the simplicity of the gospel. We miss the simplicity of the gospel, too. Love could end poverty, love could end wars, love could heal marriages and mend broken hearts, broken bodies, broken families. That little girl is right love is important. So what is love, exactly?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I Corinthians 13:4
Ok, maybe it’s not so simple after all. But what if we purposed to practice love? What if everything we did from washing dishes to ministering to people at an outreach and everything in between was motivated by love and nothing else?
What kind of healing would that bring into our homes, our schools, our communities, our world? I’m game to try, how about you?
Jesus, friend of sinners, healer of broken hearts and broken lives, help me to love as You do, to reach out to those who are far too easy to ignore. Help me to practice love in all I do, the big things as well as the little, mundane things. Forgive me, please for all the times, my motivation has been far less than love. Teach me to love, help me to receive love and give love freely, in Your name, Amen.