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Monday, November 17, 2008

Simply Put

JEAN SAID:

Yesterday was a very emotional day for me, Lord. You know what happened and how it broke my heart. There's an ache inside me for things lost. For people hurt. For what is yet to come.

I went to the ladies Bible class that I lead prepared to do business as usual. We share prayer requests and write them down so we can pray over them through the week. It was my turn to share and I had determined to ask for prayer about this matter without crying. But I couldn't contain the pain. It flooded my eyes and drenched my cheeks and chin. I don't like to bother other people with my own problems, Lord. I like to lift their heads and hold their hands. I like to comfort and encourage them, not be the one who is needing comfort.

But I'm learning, Lord. I'm learning from these beautiful women that their love for me is the genuine thing-the real deal. They love me. They really LOVE me. When my heart is breaking their hearts suffer, too. They are as eager to hold my hand as I am to hold theirs.

They receive as much blessing from comforting and encouraging me as I receive from reaching out to them. And they somehow feel stronger, I think, more purposeful, when the person who is their "leader" is transparent about a burden and allows them to get under it and help her shoulder it.

This is the meaning of fellowship, isn't it? Koinonia. Community. Bearing one another's burdens. Being part of the Body of Christ.

This is agape love lived out in flesh and blood.

GOD SAID:

Dear Little One, this is how unbelievers will know that you are Christians. Not by your credentials. Not by your accomplishments. Not by your tithes and offerings. Not by your architectural masterpieces. Not by your spiritual gifts.

Simply put, they will know you are Christians by your love for each other. Real. Simple. Love.