“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.
~1 John 4:16
Jesus instructed us to love. But we aren’t supposed to only give love. God’s love flows like a mighty river. We are to receive it as well. For many of us, receiving love is a challenge. We push it away, afraid that we are not worthy.
It is our job to let go of our unworthiness. We do that by giving our fears to God and allowing Him to work within us. Remember, He promised that He would remove our heart of stone (our fearful heart) and replace it with a heart of flesh. He also promised us He would put His Spirit inside of us. How can God’s Spirit be unworthy of love? It can’t be!
There is no way you are unworthy of love. Learn to receive love. Let it flow through you and back out into the world, as part of the whole we all live in together, as one.
God loves all things that exist and loathes nothing that He has made.
I saw it out of the corner of my eye, a black splotch slowly crawling up my white curtains just a few feet away from me. I jumped. I hate spiders! But even though I’m not a fan of them, I can’t bring myself to kill them. I trotted down the hall to the kitchen and got a mason jar. I’d catch and release the little monster.
As I struggled to get the spider to crawl into the jar without it crawling onto my hand, I muttered under my breath, “God, why did you make these creatures?
“Because I love them,” God answered. “Just as I love you.”
“You love spiders the same amount as you love humans?” I asked, a bit surprised.
“There are no favorite children in my house,” God said gently.
“But what about the saying that we are more valuable than the birds in the air that you feed?”
“You may play a bigger role in creation, but that doesn’t mean I love you any more than anything else I’ve created,” He explained.
The spider finally entered the jar and I quickly walked it outside and released it in the meadow. I watched it crawl to safety in the tall grass. God’s words opened my heart. I no longer saw a creepy spider; I saw God’s love there before me. I turned and walked back to the cottage, humming a happy little tune.
God is love.
~1 John 4:8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
If you want to love as Jesus commanded us to love, I encourage you to consider enrolling in my one-on-one Sacred Relationship Workshop. There you’ll learn the neuroscience of love coupled with Christ’s teachings so that you will have a more personal relationship with God, and be more able to keep His commandment to love Him and others. You may also experience more peace and health and have stronger relationships.
God’s name is majestic throughout all the earth!
Walking the trail this morning I barely paid attention to my surroundings— too busy thinking about the things I needed to get done. God tapped me on the shoulder. “You’re missing the beauty,” He whispered.
“I’m a bit preoccupied, sorry,” I answered.
“I’ll walk with you and show you,” God said. As we walked He pointed out the geese on the pond. He showed me little birds that flew through the reeds in the marsh, singing as they went along. He pointed out a doe hiding shyly in the tall pines and He brought my attention to the enormous boulders resting high up on the hill. The trail curved sharply ahead. When we came round the bend, an old gnarled tree greeted us.
“Look at those scars where the branches were cut off. How beautiful they are,” I said and ran my hand over the tree’s long-ago wounds, my heart filling with tenderness.
“If you take the time to really see my creation, and love it, you’ll begin to feel my love more often. That love will spill over into every breath you take and into every action you make,” God said.
We continued our walk together until we came to the end of the trail. By then I had forgotten my to-do list and instead, my mind and my heart were filled with love and gratitude. I’d have missed them had God not gently nudged me to see His beauty all around me.
God’s nudging you, too. Go outside. Take a walk. See His glorious handiwork. Love everything you see.
Love one another.
What would your life be like if you allowed connection to others to be more important than protecting your ego?
That’s the question driving my thinking as we wind down 2018 and head into the New Year. Connection with others creates health in our minds and bodies, yet it is often challenging to create. Our egos get in the way. We don’t know how to live with open hearts and minds, for that feels too risky, too vulnerable. Yet, that is what we’ve been commanded to do.
One of my goals for 2019 is to help others learn how to love as Jesus commanded. With that in mind, my Soul Reminders may move away from my usual conversations with God.
I’ve enjoyed writing my Soul Reminders for you all these years and I will continue. But for now, I’m allowing myself some space to nourish my creativity around this goal and to discern where God wants me to go.
I pray that the coming New Year brings to you all things bright and beautiful and that you recognize your many, many blessings and give thanks for them.
In love and peace,
The stars shone brightly above as I walked from the garden back to the cottage. I paused by the hedgerow and turned my gaze to the heavens to take them in. “Beautiful, aren’t they?” God asked me.
“Yes. Very much so,” I answered.
“It was a night much like this one when Mary and Joseph sought shelter for the night. But over and over, they were turned away. There wasn’t room for them,” God said, His voice soft and gentle. “Jesus was born in a stable.”
“Some people still don’t have room for Him. They refuse to open their hearts to Him,” God said.
I nodded again.
“I’m glad that you have room in your heart for Him, Sparrow.” A shooting star blazed across the sky as if punctuating God’s words.
“I’m glad too,” I replied. We stood out under the stars until I began to shiver in the cold. God put His arm around me and walked me to the cottage.
Before I went to sleep, I thought about those hearts that have no room for God and I prayed that they would open,