Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Open Hands

I know Valentine’s Day was last month, but I’ve been thinking a lot about love and the things we value and treasure. Also, how do we know we are loved and treasured? How do we communicate to others that they are loved and treasured? Do we believe it?

Both hearing and saying recently, “I love you. Love that! Love ya,” has brought forth questions in my heart. What does love really mean?

Kind of interesting, that a friend on Facebook reminded me today, that it is ‘Happy 3-16 Day’ by posting John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…”

I wonder if we get ourselves wrapped up in what we think love is…only to find out it really isn’t love at all. Do you think we can get confused about love and thus settle for less than love in our lives?

How do I know how to love? Did I ever take that class and did I pass?

Must we receive love in order to give love? I think so…

Last week I enjoyed a bike ride with my middle son. We were enjoying the warm Spring weather through our neighborhood; an when we got to a curvy part of the trail, my son asked if he could jump ahead for a little while. He disappeared from my eyes for a bit and when he reappeared I noticed he was no longer riding, but was walking his bike. I began to think of reasons why he was now choosing to walk his bike. For someone who so desired to get out and ride his bike, it made no sense. (Do we take the time to try and understand the weird/odd/different actions of others, or just presume they are strange? Hmmm…maybe a thought for another blog.)

Still from afar I was checking out his tires, his bike chains, his body language to see if there was any sign of bicycle mishap. No flat, no chains dangling and a perk in his step told me he was just fine—but still knowing there had to be a reason that he chose to walk rather than ride his bike.
When I caught up to him, I asked inquisitively, “What happened? Why are you walking your bike instead of riding it?”

He replied, “I didn’t want to lose my treasures, and I don’t have a pocket for them.” He pried his hand open to reveal his treasures…

Four small acorn shells rested in his small hands. I offered to put them in my pocket so he could ride. As he pedalled off again, I realized how quickly he "treasured" these acorns…just holding them for a matter of minutes and also how willing he was to give me his treasures because he trusted me. He knew that I would not just discard them but rather care for them and keep them safe. As I put his treasures in my pocket the word sacrifice seemed to come roaring up from my toes and then resonated in my mind for the rest of the ride.
Pure love is sacrifice and I don’t think we can fully embrace or understand it on our own. We need help…specifically God’s help to grasp this kind of pure love.
For our God who created us knows all about the ultimate sacrifice given fully in the name of love.
When left to ourselves, we get love all twisted up.

How can we unravel the mess and live with this healthy pure love?

Gonna ponder this some more, but I am thinking it has something to do with keeping my hands open.
What about you?
How do you receive and give love that is healthy and pure to those around you?

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