Posts Tagged ‘How to Love One Another’

I think there are people who love exclusively – in an excluding way – who are uncomfortable with throwing the doors of their community wide open. I don’t understand how by loving fewer, one can love better.  Love is also not a selective thing, a pick-and-choose-thing.

If it is the Father’s and His Son’s kind of love it grows smaller if it is hoarded and shared with a man-chosen select few. God’s kind of love is a Widow’s flour jar-kind-of-love.

God sent Elijah across the path of a widow, a widow gathering sticks, getting ready to die with her son of starvation.

Elijah wasn’t in her family, in her exclusive love-and-care circle.

Yet, there he was at the city gate, asking her for a bit of water. Asking her to minister to him. (I King 17:10)

I’m sure she put down her sticks, frustrated that her task was interrupted, that her plan was somewhat hijacked.

After handing him a bit of water, she probably bent down to begin gathering the sticks, preparing still yet to die with her son.

Then, he interrupted her gain, “Can I have a morsel of bread?”(1 King 17:11)

She probably slowly set the sticks back down, straightened, irritation more about her situation than the man interrupting her course of action – and he wanted more from her? Something she didn’t think she had enough to give?

“And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die” (1 Kings 17:12).

Here she was a widow, with no one to provide, with only one person to care for – and today they were going to die – and here was someone wanting more? There wouldn’t be enough for her and her son if she shared what she had with him.

If she divided it up, it would make the portion for those she cared about smaller – not bigger.

And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’”(1 King 17: 13-14)

I don’t know if the widow knew this man was “somebody.” Whoever he was, he presumed upon her time and energies, asking and asking for her to do for him. And she did.  . . . do for him.

Instead of hoarding her flour and oil, she shared. In the sharing, it was neither spent nor emptied.

Love is like that.

When we share it, there is more than enough to share with all who cross our path.

Jesus tried to get that across to the disciples when He fed the multitude with 5 loaves of bread and 3 fishes.

“This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” (Matt 14:15)

They enjoyed being Jesus disciples, probably enjoyed the attention – but they were not keen on offering hospitality, seeing to the needs of those who were not in their exclusive group.

Jesus wanted them, though, taught them to give of themselves, to genuinely care about those following them around.

But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”(Matt 14:16)

Then Jesus showed them how something little is neither as insufficient as it seems. It is only restricted by limits we set about who to include.

You give them something to eat.

It is a come-as-you-are thing, a God-placed-you-in-my-path-for-purpose thing – whether it is a family path, a work-place path, a school path, a grocery-store path, a cross-country path, a coffee-shop path, a neighborhood path, a lunch-time path.

Those on your path belong to Him. Because they belong to Him, they also belong to me, to you.

You might even think you don’t like them – but He has given them to you – to give a morsel of bread, a bit of water – which really symbolizes your time, your effort, yourself.

There are so many hearts abandoned, peeking through soul windows, trying to find a moment of heart home: love, support, encouragement, spiritual mother and fathering, a Samaritan crossing over boundary lines to bind wounds, to hold steady as faith-strength is built.

I am so grateful for those who loved me inclusively, who I didn’t belong to biologically but through adoption in Christ. They saw the orphan of my spirit and brought me to adoption. They didn’t close the soul-windows of their hearts against me. They saw me peering through those windows and opened the doors of themselves to me.

Through their genuine care, their genuine interest wounds were bound and healed, faith strengthened – and I learned to throw open the soul windows to my spirit. I have learned to love, not perfectly, sometimes gracelessly but recognizing that love is like the widow’s flour jar – it never runs out or leaves too little for me to give my husband and my children.

Who has the Father placed in your path?

Open wide the windows and doors to your Soul House, share the flour jar of love that never empties.

For parallel stories, read about Elisha with the widow and the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4).

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