Live Love

Tonight while watching a movie, there was one line that intensely resonated through me.  I had to pause what I was watching to write it down.

“Sometimes you have to watch someone love something before you can love it yourself.”

Perhaps this is simply fourteen words strung together in such an ordinary way that it is easy to glaze over and blow past.

But for me it was more.  It was like stepping out into the bright sunshine after being inside a dark building for hours.  It stopped me right in my tracks because I was momentarily blinded while I was waiting for my body to adjust.

“Sometimes you have to watch someone love something before you can love it yourself.”

Isn’t that the truth.  Sometimes we do have to watch someone love something.  We have to try to get a glimpse through their eyes.  We have to have someone lead us to that place of love, showing us that which we may be missing.

A few years back on a visit to my in-laws farm, my father in-law invited me to  ride along in his semi to deliver some grain to the elevator.  A task which gave us an abundance of time to talk.  On our journey home we stopped near a field where his combine was parked.  He asked me a question that sounded a bit like this, “I suppose you wouldn’t want to get all dirty and dusty by taking a ride in the combine with me to finish this field?”  I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into but I agreed to get up in the combine for the first time in my life.  What was to follow was truly one of the most precious experiences of my entire life.

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This small and momentary task left a lasting legacy of positive change upon my heart.  This happened because I had an opportunity to watch my father in-law love something, the love of the harvest and of finishing off a field.  In our short ride together I saw not the dust from the combine, but instead saw the love that my father in-law had for his work.  I remember the experience being almost a holy and reverent one.  Especially in the silent moments as we came to the last rows of corn in the field.  Slowly they were collected into the head of the combine.

My father in-law described what a blessing it was to harvest a field.  He talked about feeling God’s favor in overcoming the odds and challenges of a growing season.  He expressed just a deep sense of gratitude towards the Lord for all that he had harvested, both literally and figuratively.

I have truly been forever changed because of that moment when my father in-law allowed me to watch something he loved, so that I, too, could grow to love it.

I am still not there yet.  Even though we have moved from living in town to living on a farm, there’s still plenty of city in me.  I prefer to order my morning beverage as a tall white chocolate mocha with whip cream from a trendy coffee house than as a cup of coffee from the local cafe.  But I can say that watching the way my father in-law loves farming has done more than change my mind – it has changed my heart.

“Sometimes you have to watch someone love something before you can love it yourself.”

Do you think this is why Jesus said “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Jesus came.  He loved people.  He allowed us to watch Him love people.  He loved the woman at the well.  He loved his unruly and achievement seeking disciples.  He loved the little children with sticky hands who so desired His attention.  He loved the untouchables enough to lay His hands upon them.  He loved those who would put Him to death so much that with His final breathes He would beg for their forgiveness.

Through it all, Jesus allowed us to watch.  He tasked those who did watch to write down what they saw; to share for generations to come what it was like to witness the One loving people.

Perhaps that is why Jesus ended His statement by saying that all men will know we are His disciples if we love one another.  If we watch others love people and learn from them.  Then we too, can love people ourselves.  We watch someone live love.  We learn to live love.  We lead by living love.

I have been so richly blessed in my life by amazing people that I watch loving God and loving people.  Watching them has and does help me to love more.  Love more of God.  Love more of people.

Oh, how I desire and so greatly long for that in my life, that people would watch me love God and love people, that it would lead them to go forth and do the same.  Not for my glory or my accolades.  My desire is that I may not even know that it has happened until I get to heaven because I am too focused on the Lord to take note of it.

I know I have fallen short.  I know I am falling short.  I know I will fall short.  But, what a great goal to aspire to.

May each of you have someone in your life that you can watch love God and love people, that you may learn to love Him too.

Beloved and Treasured Lord,

Thank You so much for showing us how to love.  Thank You for allowing us to watch You.  Thank You for creating the opportunities for us to watch those around us. 

Lord, I pray that You would place individuals who incredibly love You and love people in our lives.  May we be inspired by them.  May we be encouraged by them.  May the lessons we learn from them sink deep within our hearts and cause us to live out that love.  

You are so good to us, God.  So good.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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4 comments

  1. Jana Kooima · · Reply

    Somewhat late at night or not, thank you for sharing such a great truth in such a beautiful way. I so appreciate your gift for writing, Julie. God continue to bless you as you bless me through these amazing glimpses of His truth 🙂 Love you!

    1. Jana, thank you so much for your on going encouragement. I can not put into words what joy I get from a simple response to my writing. It is such strength to help me continue and persevere! Love you right back!

  2. I absolutely love this! Thank your for sharing your heart! Love and hugs to you!

    1. Love and Hugs to You Steph!

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