Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)
It wasn’t the UPS guy.
When I heard the doorbell ring during suppertime, I assumed it was just another delivery. I chose to do much of my Christmas shopping online this year and that sound had been familiar all week.
So, since I “knew” who it was, I just kept eating.
Then, suddenly, something stirred within my heart.
“Open that door…now.”
And, when I did?
Instead, a car in the ditch in front of our house.
I called my husband and we both ran outside in our stocking feet to find an unexpected sight.
Three women cradling a frightened elderly soul in their arms.
One had been walking. Another was driving the opposite way. The third was driving behind her.
All brought together in an unexpected way to show a stranger unexpected love.
They told me the story in pieces. It was dark. She took a wrong turn. It scared her.
It was her 83rd birthday.
The 911 operator said not to move her. As we waited for her family and the ambulance, I saw her shivering and ran inside my house for the nearest blanket.
It was a quilt that my Mama had given to me years ago.
Without hesitation, I grabbed it, headed back, and wrapped it around her.
Unexpected love leads us to do things in unselfish ways.
“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. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
Beloved, I wonder what the world would look like with more unexpected love?
Where would we even begin?
- Pay attention. If you’re like me, your to-do list consumes your day. But, what if we paused to see…really look for…unexpected love opportunities along the way? They are right in front of us, friend. Perhaps, we’re the vessel to share a smile or encouragement that lightens the heart of another soul.
- Pay it forward. Whether it’s buying their latte at Starbucks or paying their toll on the expressway, what if we spread unexpected love without (here’s the hard part) any acknowledgment of a “thank you” or a “you’re so awesome”…but instead, just to shine God’s love?
- Remember Who paid it all. Unexpected love will cost us something–our time or our money or our talents or even our Mama’s quilt. But, God gave His son, Jesus, because of His love for us. The Ultimate Love. When we wrap that Love around others, their hearts are changed unexpectedly. And, so are we. XO
Dear God, we love because you first loved us. Help us to share your love with another soul through our words, our actions, and our lives. Open our eyes to those who need love and give us courage to show it in unexpected ways. Amen.