Today we close out our series on energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. Why these four traits? Read THIS.
I have a devotion series on my phone I listen to each morning. A few weeks ago, it covered the story of the Wisemen visiting Jesus and asked the question, “If you could hold the baby Jesus, what would you say to him?”
What would you say to baby Jesus?
I love babies. In my first Personnel review at the church I serve, I was praised for simple acts of kindness, including holding a couple’s baby at a church dinner so they could eat their meal in peace. I finally had to confess that while I was pleased the couple got to enjoy their dinner, I really just wanted to hold the baby.
What would I say to the baby Jesus? I sat with that for a while, and then a thought came into my head, and it would not leave.
If I could hold the baby Jesus, I would look him in the eyes and say, “I’m sorry. We’re probably going to screw this up.”
I love the church. I have been working in the church for over half my life and was heavily involved before that.
Followers of Jesus talk a lot about love. Jesus talked A LOT about love. But we followers of Jesus haven’t always listened to the words he said, or words we have repeated. We have assumed the worst about one another, offered judgment in place of mercy, and have delivered shame when understanding and grace were needed. We have sometimes done an amazing job of describing what we’ll stand against, but are slow to define what we’ll stand for.
We should stand for love. Jesus did, and so should we.
But I said these posts would be about more than the church, so let me say this.
I have never regretted telling someone I loved them. Even if the person didn’t love me back.
I have never lain awake at night unable to sleep because of some kind words I shared with someone.
But I can’t tell you the number of hours I have spent staring at the ceiling, replaying something hateful I said. I can’t tell you the number of people I would like apologize to for something cruel I had said to them years ago.
Love seems to take energy in the moment. The courage and vulnerability it requires can be overwhelming. Hate is deceptive. It seems so easy in the moment, but it stays with you, wearing you down, sapping your energy with regret.
Go with love.
I have never regretted saying I love you.