"You've heard it said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate you enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?" Jesus in Matthew 5: 43-44, 46 NKJV
For several years God has given me a theme for each new year. Last year's theme was focus and refocus. This year God didn't waste any time. On New Year's Day He clearly communicated to me that I am to focus on love. Love...hmm...this is going to be fun! After all, I have a wonderfully loving relationship with my husband who is my best friend, I am crazy in love with my son and daughter-in-love, I have the unspeakable joy of sharing God's love in ministry around the world, I also have the privilege of speaking love into the lives of couples who have lost babies, I love being a part of bringing new life into the world through working in Labor and Delivery, and I am a part of an incredibly loving church family! Bring it on!
But it didn't take long to discover that the love God is calling me to this year is a deeper love. Our society has a way of taking life issues like this and wrapping them in pretty packages so that we can sit in our comfortable living rooms and say, "Ah, isn't that sweet!" We are just two weeks into 2010 and already God has moved me beyond warm, fuzzy feelings to something deeper. In a sense it even goes beyond romantic love, although that certainly can be a component of it.
No,this is a dangerous love. This is sacrificial love. This is the kind of love Jesus had as He hung on the cross. The missionary, Amy Carmichael, called it Calvary Love. I like to refer to it as illogical love. In short, God is asking me, asking us, to love those who can't or won't love us back.
Now, it just so happens that I have a blog! So, I invite you to climb aboard and take this journey to love with me. However, if you dare join me I think it's only fair to warn you to buckle your seat belt. I think this is going to be a wonderfully bumpy ride!