Monday, April 2, 2012

Sometimes Love Looks a Little Different

Loading him on that plane, my mind reeling over and over again.

"I never thought love would look like this."

There I stood watching someone not even mine, load up and fly away. I turn around, starting to prepare my mind for the long drive home, waiting with anticipation his return to us. Knowing, the next time, that plane won't lead back to us.


I suppose, I never thought I'd worry about grades, shop and plan for prom, volunteer for school activities; monitor mainstream music, talk about girls; sit in the gym every Friday night to cheer, or pray so hard--for anyone who wasn't mine. 

He loads that plane and we know they're in there, the g.tribe tradition, but he doesn't know--

little love notes slipped in his bag,
one for each day,
one from everyone. 

When he discovers them, he sends us a little bit of joy:

Maybe it was the five hour layover, saying goodbye to all the new friends, or the last letter that made it become a reality to him-- He'll go one day and not return. 

Full love. 

Only weeks before, I say to him as he walks out the door, "Much love, have a good day."

He turns to me and says,  "No, not much love... full love. besides, isn't that what Jesus says? Full and total love?"

Totally surprised and shocked, I reply, "Yes, I suppose so."

I remember sitting there in the classroom several years ago listening to, Stephanie Freed talk about rescuing girls in Cambodia from sex trafficking. Strangely, it wasn't that part of her story teaching me that day, my heart strings had already been gripped by that. No, this day it was a different part of her story. 

"Sometimes our girls try to run away. Sometimes, they kick, scream, and try to run back into that old life of tragedy. That's all they know, that's where they are comfortable."

I remember thinking, "What? They fight? They scream? But they've been given hope, a gift. They've been given, love. Jesus. 

She went on to say, "Yes, it's true. They are still children and it isn't always easy. That is the life they've always known. Dangerous or not, it's what they know, what they're comfortable in."

Not everything about having him is comfortable. On a totally different scale than Stephanie, yes. But still, it's different. It's hard. It stretches us. It's invading. Sometimes, it's bad.

Then I ask myself, 

"But, why does it always have to be easy?" 

Sometimes, they wave the branches at you in life, don't they? They wave them, big and strong, saying-- good.job, so.proud, well.done, even things like, you.are.loved.

Sound familiar friends?
How about Hosanna?
"Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David!  Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in highest heaven!”

Matthew 21:8-9 NLT

A week later, it all changes, doesn't it?

 "What is your verdict?” “Guilty!” they shouted. “He deserves to die!” Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him, jeering, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who hit you that time?”

Matthew 26:66
Love looked a little different, didn't it? 

As he sits on our sofa, reading the journey to the cross, in his own language, my mind is once again in amazement.
"No matter what the language, what the tongue, if I can understand it or not, it all ends the same doesn't it, friends?

With the cross, with death and then, life."
Makes me question, 

Perhaps, the example of something so uncomfortable, calls us to a life of uncomfortable.{?} 

and then, of course, I wonder again... 

"Perhaps this is where we find true life, in the un.comfortable?"

What way could love look a little different for you today, friends? Could it look like a glass of iced tea with that person you really don't care for but you know-- Could it look like that stinky sofa where she sits, wishing for someone to sit and chat a while? Could it look like a check book or perhaps a spare room or maybe even just a bed? 

As we journey to the cross this week, friends, may you live totally, fully, and crazy uncomfortable following, stumbling, and trying so hard to keep up with His footsteps. 



Full Love,

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