March 29. 2015

Daytona update/reflection 2

I realize how I am not loving intentionally the more I talk to Kristin. She is surprised when I tell her I am not a loving person at heart and expresses she feels that she is not loving. I stare at her and tell her that God has been using her to teach me how to love people. I remind her of all the times she has cared for and served me. “But you’re always helping people,” she tells me. She has made that observation many times but this time I have a proper response. “I help people when they ask but I never have to ask you for help. You just do it,” I tell her and the second the words leave my mouth, I realize what I have been lacking. 

Kristin sees I am tired when I come home and she insists on cooking dinner for me. When I cry and rant to her about the various upsets in my life, she secretly writes encouraging notes and litters my bedroom with them when I’m not there. I pack for Daytona the day we are to leave and realize my bottle of sunscreen is missing; in my frenzy to find it, pack, and finish my group project, she notices and silently goes out of her way to buy me a new bottle without me knowing.

I never asked for help yet she sees my need and she meets it without me having to say a word. Just like Jesus.

I don’t go around seeking people to serve. I wait passively for them to come to me; sometimes when they do come, I complain in my heart and wish they hadn’t. “Lord, I’m tired, can’t someone else help them? Lord, I don’t want to spend money on them. Lord, I don’t have the time right now to help them.” I see need but I ignore it; when I do address it, nowhere do I possess the compassion and willingness that Kristin offers when she serves me. 

“Take care of my sheep,” Jesus told Peter when he said, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” 

Take care of my sheep.

Quiet time on the beach is a blessing despite the wind. I pray as I walk and as I start heading back to the resort we are staying at, I try to listen to the Lord. I don’t try very hard; a part of me wonders how I can hear the Lord amidst the roar of the wind. 

But sometimes, He comes in the wind.

A flash of orange catches my eye; a frisbee floats far beyond a young girl’s reach, propelled by the wind. A woman retrieves it and throws it back to her but by that time, the girl is preoccupied chasing after her younger sister who insists on going into the water, frisbee entirely forgotten. She holds her sister’s hand; patiently and gently she guides her sister to the water and stays close by her side as they play. Her head is ducked as she bends slightly down to speak; her eyes are fixed on her sister the whole entire time. 

“Take care of my sheep,” He whispers in my thoughts. My soul fixates on the tenderness of the older sister and I know that is how the Lord desires me to treat others.

Pursue them. Love them.

Kristin actively pursues and loves me. I passively wait and love people at my own convenience. 

“Love intentionally,” He has been telling me for months.

My heart does not have the capacity to love properly. But, Jesus who dwells in it does. This week is going to drain me; I already know. Loving my friends is hard. Loving strangers is even harder. 

But, I have no doubt that the Lord will fill up in me what I am lacking. 

Evangelism starts tomorrow. I am not ready; I will never be ready. But, Jesus walks beside me and He promises to be with me.

“Do you love me?” He asks.

Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.

“Take care of my sheep.”

Okay, Jesus. Okay.