Unexpected conversations are the best.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love the spontaneous topics that friends bring up on the table, and how one simple question can lead to a whole deal of real talk and heart-to-heart sessions. When I say heart-to-heart, it has nothing to do with sentimental topics, it’s just the kind where you tear a little bit of your skin and show the world who you really are. The things you really think and wonder about, the kind that only certain people know. So, over the course of the past few weeks I have had the privilege to get to know new people and make new friendships. And I have to say, it has been so refreshing to sit down with people I never thought I would ever get to know, and actually hear them share what’s in their heads.
This week, I was given the honor to hear a friend’s story on how he came to know Jesus through his community. What got me excited and filled with joy was that he decided to believe in Jesus because he saw that love was evident in this community. The way they showed affection to others, to him and to each other moved him. I didn’t get to see and experience first hand the kind of love he experienced in his community. I wasn’t in his community and frankly it wasn’t through community that God encountered me. But, man, love is powerful. Have we forgotten this? Because I have, to some extend.
I think the church has never been so vocal and upfront about Jesus until this day and age. I think more than ever now we are given the freedom and access to easily proclaim what we believe through so many different channels. And it creates a room for us to move like never before to reach out. Which is amazing, because what the early church needed to do to reach thousands we can accomplish using a click of a button and a bunch of complex-interconnected network. But have we forgotten the true essence of it? That it was never about all the fancy lights and cool songs. It was never about the programs and events. It wasn’t about the size nor the buildings. Not that they don’t matter and I don’t like them. But it’s just, the essence of it. At the core, it was always about one thing: love.
I wonder sometimes if we are losing our power to reach out because we forgot that the only way for the love of Christ will ever get through to other people is for us to actually love them. And I’m not saying it’s possible for us to truly love them the way Christ would. I mean, HELLO? We are not 100% like Him, yet. We are striving to become more and more like Him everyday, but we are certainly still so far away from being like Christ. But even if we are still miles away from being like Christ 100%, it doesn’t give us an excuse to forget that love is the key. It doesn’t allow us to escape that we (me!), followers of Christ, bear responsibility to at least, give a glimpse of what true love is like.
If love is patient, then an extra dose of patience will do more than you think it would.
If love doesn’t keep a record of being wronged, then an extra dose of forgiveness can bring a bunch of healing.
If love always assumes the best out of everyone, then perhaps an extra dose of positive thinking and just a little bit less of prejudice will go a long way.
If love gives without tire, then perhaps an extra cup of coffee for that friend who is going through a hard day will work its magic.
And so on.
I don’t know, there’s too much of love to talk about in just several paragraphs. But I’m all the more empowered to love. It was so encouraging to see friends, who look crazy and wild on the outside, experience a touch of love that brought them to Christ. It was encouraging because it proved that God is real and love is real. That God works in love, with love and through love.
Yes. Coffee and raw conversations are the best!