“We don’t have much of a picture of ordinary love in our society, let alone radical love. Maybe you have experienced precious little love of any kind in your life. Or perhaps you come from a background of abuse, and even your own father or mother didn’t love you or didn’t ever express love toward you. You might have been used by people you thought you could trust, and you have closed yourself off to the idea of trusting because you don’t want to be hurt again. Or you simply have been jaded by the cheap portrayals of love in our culture. You know those are not accurate depictions of love, but ou don’t have much of a handle on what it actually is. You may understand that real love is something about placing value on another person, and you are right. That’s where it starts.” (Jonathan Falwell-1000 Days-The Ministry of Christ, pg. 62)
I’m sure we can all relate to the paragraph Jonathan wrote on page 62. I’m sure at some point in our lives we’ve all felt the pain of love being withheld. I’m sure we all know what it’s like to love deeply and then be rejected. I’m sure we’ve all experienced what it’s like to have a need and be passed up. Can you imagine for a moment lying on the side of the road with no clothes, beat to a pulp, and watch as folks walk by? I can’t think that it would make your heart feel love. Perhaps more anger, resentment, and hate. The more we are hurt, the more we watch others walk by, the more we harden our hearts. And the harder we let our hearts become, the less we want to put ourselves out there and love. Am I right? Never-the-less, Romans 5:8 tells us that even though we are useless, lost, unlovable, and with anything to offer to God, when were still in our sin, Jesus loved us so much that He died for us. (pg 64) Can you imagine? Really?
I really like how Jonathan pointed out that Jesus never told us to do what he said; He told us to do what he did. And how the more we watch Him, the more grow to be like Him. “If the Christian life is anything, it is following the example of Jesus in helping hurting people.” (pg. 70) Do those words make a lump rise up in your throat? Can you ask yourself how many hurting people you’ve carelessly walk by and never pay any attention to? Your spouse? Co-worker? Friend? A stranger in Walmart or on the street? This chapter did an excellent job at calling us out on this issue. It’s a hard pill to swallow in a society that keeps yelling at us to do our own thing. Be your own person. Love yourself first. It’s all about you. This book has been screaming back at us though-NO IT’S NOT! Our lives as Christians should be showing our world that we would lay down our lives for each other. Think about that….
Ask yourself, “Who am I reaching out to? Who am I sacrificing for?” It’s a good idea to make a list of these people and name names. Don’t be vague about it. The alternate question is we have to ask are, “Who am I passing by? Who am I pretending not to see? Who am I trying not to get involved with?”
I think if we are honest with ourselves, many of us are saying “Ouch God….this hurts…”