Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Abi's Lent: Day Eight

I've come to the end of Section one of The Jesus Creed, with chapter 6--A Creed for Others. I am glad that Scot spent the time at the beginning to focus on the reality of exactly what the Jesus Creed means ... I'm sure it is an important foundation.

What struck me today as I read was how stuck we are when it comes to loving others as ourselves. The first part of that problem begins to be addressed when we really come to terms with the Sacred Love of God FOR us ... that our Papa is "especially fond of" each of us.

This is important because people who do not feel loved in this foundational, unconditional manner just have a difficult time loving anyone -- themselves or others!

But the other part of this is beginning to come into focus a bit ... when we are told to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. The thing that struck me today as I was reading was that we know what makes us feel loved. The challenge is to pay close enough attention to others to discern how we may love them so that they feel loved. This is, as it were, a horse of a different color! I would say that the color of this horse is purple.

Why purple? Because purple is the color of sacrifice ... and too few of us sacrifice our time to find out how people want to be treated. We assume that they want what we want ... and The Abbess is confident that you know what that makes out of you and me.... ;^)

This is where Abi's Rule comes into play. I haven't talked much about it, but you will see that the first thing in my sidebar is called Abi's Rule ... which is missional order talk for the way The Abbess chooses to live. For those of you familiar with The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you will see that I strive to be multilingual in the ways I love those who cross my path. Sometimes I have good clues, other times I have to depend on observation of their immediate need. I mean, the man on the side of the road (today's scripture was the story of the Good Samaritan) may be a words of affirmation kind of person, but some physical touch, quality time and acts of service certainly spoke love to him, if you follow me. ;^)

Anyway ... I have begun to practice discerning ways to both give and receive love using all five languages whenever possible. Not only is my life full of folks who feel love differently than I do, I want to be sure that I don't miss ways that Abba is loving me through others. I want to recognize when my needs are being met, even if it's not exactly in the way I would like them to be met, if that makes sense. I don't want to miss Abba's love because it wasn't what I was expecting ... I want to live in the expectancy that Abba's love will always find a way to meet my needs.

This goes along with the way Scot closed this chapter, with a quote from James Bryan Smith about God loving us through others. Of course The Abbess resonated with this, as I have said this many times on this very blog. It is always nice to hear other people who have also found this bit of truth! :^)

One of these days, I will make available a little chart I put together to help folks see what I mean when I try to find ways to speak all five love languages into every circumstance ... but, alas, I have run out of time today!

Leaning deeper into Papa, still!

No comments: