Is Love Blind?

Ask anyone who knows me at all and they will tell you that I work very hard to be prepared in advance and that I hate large crowds. Despite these two facts, this year I found myself two days before Christmas making a last minute emergency run to…WALMART. The horror! I jostled and “excuse me-ed” all the way to the back of the store where they hide their eggs only to be assaulted by a solid wall of pink and red hearts. Did I mention this was two days before Christmas?!?

The tide of Valentine’s day has slowly but steadily risen to engulf not only New Year’s but also Christmas. Valentine’s Day – the one day a year we all live in the fantasy that our relationships consist only of bliss and ecstasy. We turn a blind eye to our partner’s faults in pursuit of a love that makes us feel good, that’s comfortable, that’s self-serving. We idolize romance and in so doing sacrifice reality. It was Shakespeare who first coined the phrase “love is blind” (The Merchant of Venice), so the idea that the nature of love includes ignoring and glossing over each other’s warts and scars and failures is not new. But is this the kind of love that we, as children of God, should strive to give? Is this the kind of love that God shows us?

The love of God is far from blind.

I, for one, am thankful that the love of God is far from blind. God sees us as we truly are, He knows us more intimately than we even know ourselves and yet He chooses…love. I never have to fear that God is going to find something out about me and quit loving me…He already knows it all! And at the same time He is unwilling to allow me to continue in my sin. He is patient and kind, slow to anger and free from selfishness. He does not treat us as our sins deserve but embraces us as His beloved children in Christ.

When we refuse to be blind, when we take the time and effort to truly know someone, and we still choose to love them we are imaging God. It is through this I know you’re really messed up and you’ve hurt me and probably will again but I’m going to choose to love you anyway kind of love that people are drawn to and experience the grace and love of God. This is the way, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that I am seeking to love both those closest to me, my spouse, my family, my friends, and those I simply come into contact with each day. I want them to experience God’s all-seeing love through me.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we must also love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.” -1 John 4:7-11

This Valentine’s Day, let’s take off the blindfolds, look into each others lives and choose to love like God loves us.

A People With A Story

The holiday season is upon us and with the holidays often comes time with family. Time with family looks different for everyone, but for me, it usually means telling stories. When I first married George, one of the observations he made as an “outsider” was that mine is a storied family. I had never quite thought about it like that, but he was right. My family is constantly recounting stories from our past, especially on Christmas Eve.

Every year we would return home from church and settle in by the warmth of the fire and glow of the christmas tree to sip eggnog and eat shrimp with cocktail sauce and cheese ball with crackers. My mom would read a corny poem she had written about things that had happened that year and inevitably the stories would start flowing…

We would laugh at the vibrating football table my dad had gotten for Christmas as a kid and recall my sister’s tears the year my mom forgot to put any of her presents under the tree. Soon the conversation might turn to how accident prone I am, everyone recounting where they were when they found out I was hit by a car, what a diva my sister was growing up, or how my parents would strap my brother to his chair with a belt at the dinner table when he wouldn’t sit still. I could go on and on but the point is these stories are important to me. They are a part of my history and have played a significant role in shaping who I am – the good and the not so good.

Recounting stories like these brings my family together, it unifies us as we tell our common history. We remember and we’re filled with joy and gratitude, hope and love, privileged to know and to be known. Some of you may be able to relate and others may not, but no matter what your biological family is like, when you entered the family of God you became part of a storied family.

We as God’s people share a common history. We too are a family that has been shaped by stories: stories of creation in all its majesty, the triumph of the exodus, the sorrow of prophets and stubbornness of kings… stories of stunning miracles and the long-awaited Messiah, of bitter death and a resurrection of hope…stories of the early church and persecution. All too often we stop there and simply look forward to the promised end. But God’s story continues… in catacombs and cathedrals, in monasteries and missionary movements in the lives of our mentors and friends.

This is the story we are living out now at LOFT City Church, and the telling of this story brings about growth and unity in the family of God. We tell and retell, remember and reflect, and are filled with joy and gratitude, hope and love, privileged to know and also to be known. This is why God’s call to “remember” is so prevalent throughout all of Scripture – eat and remember, drink and remember, sing and remember, gather and remember who God is and what He has done. In the remembering and telling, the story shapes us and binds us to our Father and our family. God’s story is a story of grace and redemption, brokenness and healing, failure and hope, one in which WE play an integral part. This holiday season, as we gather around fires and meals, lattes and trees, let’s remember and tell God’s story, our story, to each other and to the world – inviting them to join the family.

“Give thanks to Yahweh; call on His name;
proclaim His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him; sing praise to Him;
tell about all His wonderful works!
Honor His holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
Search for the Lord and for His strength;
seek His face always.
Remember the wonderful works He has done,
His wonders, and the judgements He has pronounced,
you offspring of Israel His servant,
Jacob’s descendants – His chosen ones…
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Proclaim His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,

His wonderful works among all peoples.” – 1 Chronicles 16:8-13,23-24

Close up photo of the church mosaic by avmedved. Dollarphotoclub