Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Love Expressed

Today is the 6th year my mom is celebrating her birthday in heaven.  I miss my mom like crazy for so many reasons.  I know I’ll see her again, but sometimes I’d just like to pick up the phone and ask her a question, or stop by the house and tell her good morning.   I’d like to tell her a joke and make her laugh until she cried, because it always made me laugh too.

When I think of my mom, I think of several things – I think about heaven.  How amazing it must be and wonder what she thinks of it.  Being in the presence of God, in the presence of the One she lived her life for.

I wonder what she’s doing – You know, in heaven there isn’t any fear.  How many things have we not done because fear was present.  Things that might have been exhilarating – things like flying, diving to the depths of the ocean.  Things that are adventurous but also live a bit on the edge.
I certainly don’t think that heaven involves just sitting around.  God created us to live, to live an adventurous, abundant life!

The other thing I think about is the kind of life my mom did live here.  It was one of love – one of expressed love.  You know how people say that “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all?”  Well, that was my mom’s philosophy and she followed it wholeheartedly.

My mom reached out to people where they lived.  You know the story of the good Samaritan – that would have been my mom.  You know how Jesus said to let the little ones come to Him?  She always brought the kids from our neighborhood into our home, even after all of her own children were grown.  She loved them, she gave all that she could to them.  Mostly, she really talked to them.  She just let them spend time, giving them snacks and really encouraging them.  She shared herself with them.  She shared the Truth of Jesus with them and how He could make a difference in their lives.

I love it when I see her heart in that of my brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews.  When I see it in the kids who are now adults, but making choices out of love because they were loved.  My mom loved the Lord and allowed His love to be expressed through her.  She loved without expectation, without looking for return.  She just wanted others to know the love Christ has for them.

I can think of so many situations where she didn’t think of her own self.  Loving without looking at the wrongs of a person’s situation, but only of how she could love them, and in that express the love of Christ.

Mom didn’t do this by herself though; she took her family with her. I can’t count the times our days consisted of serving others because they had a need – a ride to the grocery store, spending time with someone who couldn’t get out, gathering food or clothing for a family in need.

Mom taught me to see people through the eyes of Jesus. She knew that if they would only surrender to His love, their lives would be transformed. Mom knew life could be hard. She had seen the effects of alcohol and drug abuse on a life, on a family. But she had also encountered the life-changing, heart healing power of Jesus Christ.  She wanted to express that Love to everyone she could.

Love expressed.  A love that changes lives.  Living out the greatest commandments – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind.  Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-38)  Those are the things I think about when I remember my mom.

Happy birthday Mom!!

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