Today I had two encounters at the grocery store and I want to share them with you. Both situations reveal how people respond to kindness and love. It breaks my heart and makes me hungry to always allow Jesus’ Love to be the love in and through me. Why? Because I know that my love is sourced in self and ultimately will always be selfish no matter how good or pure it may appear. I have learned that self can do nothing but serve self. All the while, Jesus IS Love – the only Love and truly Love. Here’s the fact: all we need is Love!
Round One: All We Need is Love
My first encounter took place in the refrigerated section. I needed some grapefruit juice from the top shelf and a man in a wheelchair was parked in front of my brand listening to his cell phone. I didn’t want to bother him nor did I wish to startle him, so I gently placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled as I began to reach. He immediately spun his head around with a huge smile and said enthusiastically, “Yes?” I just pointed to the grapefruit juice and continued to reach for it. He simply remained sweetly smiling while I retrieved my product.
As I continued to shop, I noticed him in several other places in the store. Each time I saw him, he began to beam. The thing that broke my heart is this man in the wheelchair came alive like the blossoming of a flower. Maybe he doesn’t get touched very often, or possibly the kindness I extended just felt good. But what I hope most is that he responded to Christ expressing Love through me. I don’t know. All I can say is this man became electrified by what I would call common courtesy.
Where’s The Love
A few years back shortly after I had a back injury, I had to go to a Christian booksellers convention. Because of my injury, I required a wheelchair, which Martha kindly pushed. I just couldn’t have managed walking on that hard concrete for two straight days without a serious setback and pain. The thing I witnessed at this Christian event is how a man in a wheelchair can be treated. Let me say horribly.
In my experience, I was like a leper. And if people weren’t outright avoiding me, then they were treating me as if I was a stupid toddler. The conversations were patronizing and extremely belittling, as if my IQ were as low as the chair I sat in. Somehow, someone who appeared handicapped had nothing to offer a Christian bookseller (hahaha). So I do understand how being seen and given a kind touch from a stranger might feel comforting, especially when you’re in a wheelchair. The fact remains: all we need is Love.
Let everything that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14 PHILLIPS
Round Two: All We Need is Love
The second encounter came from a man who works in the produce section of our grocery store. I see him most days I shop, and I always smile and initiate some sort of kindness. He always responds to my kindness but usually he waits for me to speak. I think he’s shy and I’m cool with being the initiator. But today was different. I haven’t seen him in a few weeks and he came running up as I was checking out, with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on his face. I extended my hand and returned the smile and he joked while shaking my hand, “I see you’re buying, can I put in a few things?” Then, still grinning, he simply turned and walked away.
Was this a response to simple kindness, or have I let Love shine forth to touch this man? I pray the latter. I don’t know for sure, but what I do know is all we need is Love. And that Love sometimes comes through acts of kindness rather than words. Sure, I could’ve hopped on either or both of these men and told them about Jesus and His Love, but the Spirit in me chose rather to BE Love. Kindness was the delivery system for Love today.
Maybe tomorrow it will be words or prayers or miracles? It’s actually none of my business. As a disciple, I am called to do what I see the Father doing, as the Life of the Son expresses Himself through me. Jesus is Love and if I let Him be my Life, then Love will express itself through my life and doings. While I can’t define Love nor dictate how He will express it, I can let Him be Love in me.
For sure, all we need is Love!
By this we know we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments—whoever keeps His word, in Him truly the love of God is perfected—if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
(1 John 2:3, 5 & 4:11)
* If you haven’t had the privilege and opportunity to listen to the CD series Above All, Love, I highly recommend it. We think we know what love is and what it means to love and be loved. But do we? In just three messages, Martha digs deeper into the truth of love, loyalty, priesthood, Christ-like confrontation, chastening and obedience than most books on a single one of these topics. But above all, as it must be, these teachings are a revelation of God’s LOVE – the power behind and the meaning of the universe. Use coupon code: ABOVEALL for 25% off to enjoy it.
I loved it in a recent podcast, when Kyle said, “It’s nice to be seen.” There is more Love in that spontaneous heart coming through, whether giving or receiving God’s Love flowing…than any sentimental ‘goo’ or empty phrases that just ‘walk on by’. Love SEE’S you, just real you, as you are, in your heart, & not the scaffolding of whatever sort that might be. “For God so loved the world…” That’s very telling, isn’t it… Jesus walked the dusty earth & every look He gave, every word spoken, everything He lived & all He did, said, “Love see’s you”….and… Read more »
How many times did Jesus heal just by a touch? His life in us are through us changes the Spiritual atmosphere just by us walking through the door. Just the shadow of Peter healed multitudes. Father’s love impacts the world around us as we are His ambassadors. Don’t be afraid of a simple touch or kind word.
John, your post made me smile and sad at the same time… It reminded me of the fact that Love does, because Love Is, first. Scripture says Love is…. Love is a nature, a character, it is a Being, Christ. And we can let it BE in us and through us, or not… . You gave us both experiences in this post. I like how you put it ” … the delivery system for Love today” Love delivers Himself in many forms, as 1 Cor 13 says: Is patience Is kind Is not envious of others Is not puffed up… Read more »
HIS love birthed in us is what resonates with HIS Spirit. His love is not from emotion or human sympathy, but is His DIVINE LIFE overflowing as we abide in Him.
Thank you Bruce! Absolutely, isn’t amazing His Life dwells in us?!
ahhhhhhh LOVE and LET……..this stream is flowing down to us from OUR ABBA to prepare us for the coming conference. This post is filled to overflowing with HIM.
Dear Father, please answer Martha and John’s prayers and those of your dear saints for this coming time of
their sharing your LOVE and the fellowship of your people. Bless them in their preparations, their rest and sleep.
Restore and fill them to overflowing essence of yourself.
I agree with my sister. In Jesus Name. Amen
Sue, I miss you so much, and will be so glad to see you,
a big thanks for hearing, writing and praying for us.