At the groom's dinner for his second-born daughter's wedding, Joel spoke. He told how concerned he was before Becka was born, because of the great love he had for her firstborn sister. He was afraid he couldn't love another child as much as he loved Angie. But, little as she was at the time, he explained, Becka taught him something. He discovered he didn't have to worry if he had enough love left over for her. He realized that his heart simply grew bigger to accommodate such love.
Joel's message mirrored my own experience. As a teenager, I saw one's heart as something like a honeycomb. Love for parents and brothers and sisters occupied a number of those cells, with the biggest chunk of honeycomb saved for the man of my dreams and my own children. I guarded my heart, not wanting to fritter away any of it on passing fancies. That didn't mean I ignored such fancies, however. On the back of a school picture, I wrote a poem for one such fellow, after he passed me by for another gal. It read:
"Hidden in my heart is a little spot for you,
Full of lovely memories of things we used to do.
Dear friends we'll be for always,
Though things be changed by time,
That little spot is ever yours,
Those memories are mine."
To my chagrin, his mother read it. Having only sons, I guess she saw me as the daughter she always wanted. One night we walked home together from the Home Style Cafe in Hannaford, North Dakota, where I worked part-time with her. With a breaking voice she told me that she had read my poem and cried. I was mortified.
At that point, I still saw love as confined to a little chamber, one for each person I cared about. Only with time did I come to recognize that one's heart is not a honeycomb for storing love. Rather it is a fountain, continually bubbling up with love from a source beyond itself, and overflowing into the lives of others.
The omnipotent Almighty, who IS love, is the Source of all true love. The power of electricity, so overwhelming it can slay us, serves as an illustration. Jesus, as one writer expressed it, is the Transformer, making such power accessible to us. And He floods our hearts, as a gushing spring of living water, with God's love. We need not worry if we'll have enough for the people of the world, as well as for those closest to us. God's provision is inexhaustible.
We don't have to look far to see the counterfeit that passes for love among love-starved populations. Imitation is better than nothing, I guess, but it simply doesn't satisfy because it isn't real. Like empty calories, it doesn't provide nourishment for the soul. Instead, it acts like a drug, producing addicts desperate for another fix.
But, when the love of Jesus is revealed through us, the contrast is significant. The counterfeit love that is perishing lies exposed for what it is.
Let's pray that we will be so transparent that the love of Jesus shines out brightly to those lost in the dark world of addictions. And, in the words of the old song, we can add "Lord, lay some soul upon my heart, and love that soul through me." What a gift!
We love, because he first loved us. --- 1 John 4:19 ...and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus --- 1 Timothy 1:14
---Edy T Johnson---
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Thanks Edy for this beautiful treatise on love and how God loves us. It reminds me of gushing water bursting through a dam flooding everything downstream with love. But instead of destroying everything, God's love fills up the valleys in human hearts making it possible for us to love others. Your message is a blessing to me and all those who read this.