“You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.”
When We Need to Love a Little Deeper
I asked my friend how she was doing.
No, really, I said. How ARE you?
Her child had been sick — scary sick — and I could only imagine how scared and stressed and exhausted she must have felt. Though I’d offered help in various ways, she’d politely refused. As a matter of fact, I was at her house while she helped me with something. But still I longed to do something for her, to make her feel better in some way.
How are you, really? I pressed.
She told me that she was okay, although not good. She admitted that when friends had asked her the same question at church the day before, she had tried to describe the anxiety and the fear she was experiencing, but they looked at her blankly. As if they had no idea what she was talking about. As if they’d never felt a little crazy themselves.
I hugged my friend and told her firmly — because I meant it deeply: If someone says they’ve never felt a little crazy, they are either lying or boring.
She laughed and thanked me for understanding.
When I think about my various friends and the crises we’ve walked through together — or watched each other face — I can’t help but think of the give and take of friendship.
I think of how many times I’ve been the one in need of a hug or last-minute babysitting or a hot meal. And I think of all the different ways I’ve been loved well by friends — and all the ways I’ve been able to show them love as well.
Different challenges call for different solutions, just like different personalities and relationships call for different approaches. Sometimes a friend needs tangible assistance — childcare, dinner in a box, a gift card to the grocery store. Sometimes she just needs encouragement — an email, a note in the mail, some flowers or her favorite drink from Sonic. But other times? She needs something deeper. She needs to be heard, to be understood, to be held.
My friend felt crazy that day we talked at her front door — even more so because she hadn’t been given the understanding and acceptance we all crave. So I stopped offering her dinner. And I didn’t lie to her and say that her feelings and her situation weren’t overwhelming and even crazy. I just said that it’s okay to be crazy, that I’ve felt crazy before, that I loved her and her family no matter what.
Loving each other deeply requires different things at different times. So our job is to look for opportunities to show that love and then show up the way others have done for us, the way Jesus does for us every time.
Who can you love deeply today?Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Not that I have enemies, but God has been challenging me to love those who have hurt me and those who are hard to love. It’s so easy, fun, and rewarding to love those who are appreciative and reciprocate, but God says that anyone can do that. As Christ followers, we are called to love the unlovable, the prickly, the abrasive, the downright rude. Easier said than done, but I’m trying. As the old adage goes….kill ’em with kindness. More than that, I’m trying to love like Christ loved. Thanks for this post that urges me on!
Michele Morin says
Mary, this is wonderful preparation for Sunday morning immersion in the lives of my church family!
Blessings to you, and thanks for pressing into relationships and asking the questions.
Beth Williams says
Sometimes people just need us to show up & listen. Be an understanding ear and encourage them. I have two groups of people that eat out once a month. One group-some church friends- are trying to befriend a woman. Our aim is to love her where she is and try to get her into church. We listen to her and show her God’s love. Another group-“the final five”- is my old co-workers. We meet intentionally to catch up on each other’s lives. We pray for each other and occasionally give gifts. The point is we are there for each other. Showering God’s love on everyone.
Who can I love deeply today? Anyone and everyone I meet.
if God is love, the enemy is the opposite of love. Tempting to think this is hate, but I think it’s actually indifference.
Mary I think it was very thoughtful in the way you reached out to your friend. Sometimes even though we mean well we might not understand, and overlook those needs.Thank-you for reminding us to look deeper, reach further, and love one another well.
Have a blessed day all,
Thank you for this beautifull heartfelt message of truth,
touched my hart God Bless you
Rebecca L Jones says
On Bev’s reply, I didn’t think I had enemies either, but you might be surprised where the real enemy has used other people’s insecurity or jealousy, to hurt you. Only God knows people’s thought, though they sooner of later come out their mouths. I’m convinced there are some that won’t be killed by kindness. In the south, people “stew” on things. And for the crazy friend, she’s not crazy just worn out, you can only stand so much, Jesus said there would be ” sufficent ” evil each day, and when it piles up, yes, you question your sanity. It’s bad for people to say, ” just get over it.” Or why can’t you just do so and so? Thank you for being a friend that loves at all times. God bless.
Mary Hood says
This goes right along with this morning’s service. My Pastor spoke on Paul and Timothy. They loved and cared sincerely, submissive and selflessly. And as Christ does, so are we. Many don’t get it. People need love. And that comes in hugging, helping, serving and NOT judging. Thank you for sharing this. We could at any moment be in the place of needing, and I, usually am. As you do to the least of these….