“Don’t just pretend to love people. Really love them.” Paul to the Romans (New Living Translation)
I’ve always tried to be a face value person: what you see is what you get. Maybe that was the problem yesterday…
Long day at work. 94 degrees. Air conditioning in the van…out of commission. Whole family in the hot van… lots of noise…my younger two bickering incessently. We arrive at my daughter’s last soccer game, set up our chairs and proceed to sweat and get blown over by 35 mile an hour sustained winds. Last week it as 55 with a wind chill; this week it’s record highs, typical prairie winds and lots of humidity. Welcome to Iowa.
Anyway, sitting at my daughters game, everything was bugging me: the dad on the sidelines “coaching” loudly, the beads of sweat trickling down my back, the wind, the arguing kids, even my husband (who hadn’t really done anything)…I was even annoying myself. I was snippy with the kids, snippy with Brad, and not at all pleasant to be around. It dawned on me later (sadly too late), that the lady next to us could have certainly heard and seen my hissy fit behavior and general grouchy demeanor. If someone asked her what she thought of me, I’m afraid the answer would be scary. For that hour, at that game, what she (or anyone else paying attention) saw, was a crabby mom and disrespectful wife. Not much love. Not much joy. Not much of anything good.
I entitled this post “poser” because I’ve never wanted to be one. Well, guess what, yesterday proved that I’m no poser. But what you saw if you were looking, was what you got and it wasn’t a pretty picture. Maybe some posing wouldn’t have been all that bad. Or maybe if I would have taken two minutes to think outside myself, my attitude and behavior could have been adjusted. But I’ll never know what could have been because I was too wrapped up in me.
Yesterday morning I came across this verse “Don’t just pretend to love people. Really love them.” from the book of Roman’s. I thought of it all day, and yet when I went to the game, really loving people was not in the forefront of my brain. Me, myself and I were in the forefront and the back and all the space inbetween. When I woke up this morning, my behavior and this verse were staring me in the face. As I reflected, another Bible passage came to mind…let me paraphrase it…
Love stays cool even in the heat.
Love speaks kindly even when correcting.
Love doesn’t wish for something it can’t have-like a new car with a/c.
Love doesn’t think it’s being cheated just because life isn’t always perfect.
Love doesn’t demean or degrade or humiliate others.
Love doesn’t get angry over trifles.
Love tries to forget others wrongs and see the best in them.
Love isn’t happy when others are hurt or suffering or embarassed, but wants to bring relief.
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails, even when I do.
May you and I be true lovers today.