BY: JOHN CAREY
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: 1 Peter 4:8: “Above all love each other deeply…”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Every one of us has something that we absolutely LOVE. Something that is special to us. Something that we just can’t seem to live without. Something that others look at and regard as trash or thrift shop worthy.
My wife absolutely loves her dog, Rocky. (Notice I said her dog.) Rocky is a 16-year-old Miniature Pinscher. (By the way, average life span of a Miniature Pinscher is 9 years. I guess we are just blessed…or cursed!) To me Rocky is a strange looking dog who has outstayed his welcome, can’t control his bladder, barks at everything a normal dog shouldn’t bark at, and has some sort of growth the size New Hampshire protruding from his hip. Not to mention, for some reason, he feels the need to store his food in his mouth like a chipmunk and find me and eat right beside my foot. Don’t tell anyone but I’m waiting for the right opportunity to hit him with my zero turn. But to my wife he is the greatest thing since Saved By The Bell.
For me my thing is my 2004 Nike SB Zooms. You would look at these shoes and you’d think they were left abandoned on the middle of I-40. They may have holes, stains, and a sole that flaps every time I take a step. They have discolored spots and shoe strings that may have been drawn on with a sharpie by a 6-year-old Tasmanian devil! But there is just something about those shoes that I just love. I feel comfortable in them, I feel secure in them, and I have the misconception that I actually look good in them! Those shoes complete me!
One of the many things I appreciate about Jesus is how he loved the unlovely. Jesus was pure holiness and perfection, God on earth, and yet He was not afraid to embrace imperfect, flawed, impure people. His goodness didn’t drive people away; in fact it did the exact opposite! People were attracted to Jesus, to the life, the hope, and the newness that He offered them. Jesus had dinner with tax collectors. He freed a woman who had committed adultery and was about to be stoned. Jesus healed those who were in need. He accepted people, loved people, believed in people. He never piled guilt on them, condemned them, or regarded them as useless. Jesus always respected people, encouraged people, offered them hope where they had given up. We are called to show the same kind of love to those around us. That includes the overbearing boss, the grumpy teacher, the annoying neighbor, the stranger, and yes, even the 16-year-old Miniature Pinscher from…Woodbury! I am Jesus’s 2004 Nike SB Zooms! I recently heard a pastor say, “your love for others will find fuel in your love for God himself.” Above all, love each other.
PRAYER: God, above anything else, allow me to love unconditionally. Open my eyes to see people and situations the way you see them. Allow the love that we have for you fuel the love we have for others. Transform our hearts and transform our city. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Husband, Father, Pastor, and the world’s worst Power Ball number picker!