One of the men I went to Africa with called me. He wanted to give my number to someone so that I could help them with ongoing computer issues. He said he wanted to make sure they got someone who would treat them fairly.
Then he said I could not fool him. The Spirit had showed him the love in my heart. Behind the exterior he could see it. I could not argue with him. What do you say to something like that? Deny it? Accept it? Reject it? There really is no good answer.
Often times I do not want to have my heart. I’d rather be a robot. Then I would not have to worry about being unlovable.
This morning I was in 1 Corinthians 13. I had read the end of chapter 12 the previous day. The last verse ends with “And now I will show you a way that is beyond comparison.” A way beyond comparison. That way is love.
As an aside, the sermon I preached in Africa was about love. In matters of the heart you do not send your friend, you go yourself. This is why God sent Jesus. He loved us and sent His Son Jesus to die so that we might be reconciled to Him. Love. Still meditating on all these things.
Then we read the great love chapter. The Apostle Paul is not talking about the love of a husband and wife no matter how many times it is read at a wedding. He is talking about the love of the church. I am nothing without love. Mindfully, I am fully cognizant that I am loved in this way. I think I am loved in this way more than most people. God has always had a hand on my life, even when I was far away. After He saved me, He shines His love through me more than I realize or want to accept. And people are drawn to that. People love me greatly in that way.
We find out in chapter 13 that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. And we learn a lot more.
Then chapter 14 begins with “Pursue love”. Again love of the church. And yet I want it to mean so much more for my life. I could even convince myself that God was specifically telling me to pursue someone. Unrequited, no doubt.
So I finished the book, The Path of Loneliness, yesterday. After accepting loneliness as a gift, you know what we need to do with it? Give it to God. I gave it to Him a few times yesterday. What a relief. Although, it would return. I knew it would. I told Him I would struggle so I needed help giving it to Him again and again. Elisabeth Elliot used the word oblation. I had to look that up. It means “a thing presented or offered to God”. It is His gift to me and I need to offer it back to Him.
When I first read that in the book, it felt strange. But everything I have is a gift from God and He doesn’t want part of me, He wants all of me. I have already given it to Him at least once today. I imagine it won’t be the last time.