Loving Your People
by Rhonda Sittig
October 31, 2018
The Beatles famously sang it, “All we need is love!”
Shannan Martin writes, “The way we spend our love is the way we spend our lives.”
And of course when our Lord Jesus was asked for the greatest commandment, He spelled it out, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, love your neighbor as yourself.” — Luke 10:27
Okay, got it. Sounds good. I want to be that all-out, ever-loving kind of person. So I’m asking myself how that works. And I’m thinking there are two components I need to have in place:
1. I can’t really love people until I know them well, what they need, the things that make them feel loved. I need to pay attention to the people God has given me, to truly know them.
2. And, actually, I’m not that naturally loving. So first, I need to wallow in God’s love, draw on His tender mercies, rest in His daily care. Sit with Him. Ask for His help! Then I’ll have the wherewithal to go out and love my people.
I saw this on Instagram this week and wrote it on a little card to carry with me—
“Today’s order of business: Pay attention. Be captivated. Practice gratitude. Share something with someone in need of love.”
So, I’m trying to dig in and love the people God has given me. Love them with a pot of soup. Love them with a phone call and a listening ear. Love them with a ride to the doctor or with help cleaning out a closet. Love them over tacos and long talks. Light candles and sing to them on their birthday. Pray for them. Cry with them. Hold them. Laugh with them. Love them deep and wide. Stay with them for the long haul.
This way of all out loving won’t be easy. People have messy, painful lives and love means joining them in that pain and mess. But isn’t that exactly what Jesus came and did?
“The way of Jesus is an invitation to be attentive to the people near us, to dig deep with each other and to stick around for the long haul. This is the abundant life. It’ll cost us, but it’s worth it. “ (Shannan Martin from her new book, The Ministry of Ordinary Places)
Rhonda is currently packing to trek up to San Francisco with her mom so she can introduce her to her two new little great grand-guys. And typing away each week on her blog: The Thankful Heart.