“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 NIV
My eyes were full of wonder.
Previously, that folded piece of cowhide resided on his dresser or emerged from his pocket whenever we went to John’s Donuts for Sunday sweets.
This day, it was up close and personal, within reach of my curiosity.
My Daddy-O’s wallet.
I opened it carefully and tenderly, discovering bent-cornered photos of the ones he loved.
As I reached for the last piece, it didn’t take long to recognize those little red hearts.
Or the sender.
My Daddy-O was 59 when he died.
The same age I’ll be in April.
His wallet of love paused me to ponder the wallet of my life.
Not the one I carry in my purse.
Rather, the one I carry in my heart.
And, this deep question stood out:
Does my life consistently radiate God’s big love?
Here are some things I’m (still) learning about love:
Love is way bigger than my own little world.
God, help my love to be less about me and more about others. Maybe it’s anonymously buying a stranger’s meal. Or, perhaps offering a hug to someone who needs one. It might be whispering a prayer for her or giving my time to help, expecting nothing in return. It may be spreading that neighborly love, which expands further than the folks next door. Whatever God’s love is all about, I want to be all about that.
“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
Love removes the junk and replaces it with freedom.
Ever pile up the junk in your life? Me too. Some of it causes my tummy to churn from zero to a hundred in about 2.5 seconds. Who wants to live like that? Yet, when I choose first to love, freedom follows. Freedom to let go and let God. Freedom to love like He does, replacing junk with joy.
“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.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Be the love, share His love.
I worked with a girl who called in sick every Valentine’s Day. Past hurts and a day all about “love” were just too much for her. I get that, don’t you? Human love can be broken or blind or beautiful. That’s why I’m so grateful for God’s love…His never-changing, never-ending, “I love you just the way you are” love. Dear one, what if the only way another soul will experience His love is through you and me?
“This is how God showed His love among us; He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:9-11
What’s in your wallet, beloved?
Is it stuffed with temporarily loved things that are here today and gone tomorrow?
Or, is it overflowing with love…our Heavenly Father’s great love…the kind that makes a difference in this world and lasts forever?
That’s the love I pray for all of us. XO