Love One Another

“Everyone thinks I am weird!” I swept the kitchen floor late that night and cried.

The house was silent except for the small sounds of slumbering. I hung up my broom and restlessly moved around the living room, straightening a pillow, putting away a few forgotten pieces of laundry. I switched off the last lamp. The streetlight shone its lonely light onto the hardwood floor, and I cried.

People were kind, oh so kind, more than I deserved. Yet I felt myself torn between cultures, not part of either, but suspended between in a painful stretch.

When I am with my birth culture, I feel their kindness, their goodness, and yet I feel the undercurrent of suspicion–that I am not really part of what I called “Us” for so long. I am slowly edged out of things I always did with these people I love.

When I am with the people in my town, I also feel their kindness, their gentleness to the stranger. But I know that I am an oddity to them. I wonder, do these people know that I have thoughts, feelings, desires? That I long to sit on their porches and laugh and chat with them like old friends? Do I seem like a real person to Them?

I thought all these things and more, and cried.

I went to bed with the cry stuck in my heart. And in the darkness, the answer came. A strange answer; so often the Spirit speaks in riddles. I heard it clearly: Love one another.

Love one another. How could that be the answer? Love hurts, and many times it spills onto the pavement, a wasted sacrifice. How could love help me leap the gap that felt so impassable? I pondered the mystery, and thought of the perfect love that came to earth two thousand years ago. Christ’s love ran red on Calvary, and this is what He said:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

John 13:34 (ESV)

And this:

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:35 (ESV)

And I began to wonder if the formidable barriers named “Us” and “Them” were only vapor-thin, vanishing in the warmth of the Father’s love. If poured-out love was not a wasted sacrifice but a holy offering. If the only way to feel part of the huge human family was to love, and love, and love again.

Love one another as I have loved you.

Love one another.

Love.

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Love One Another

  1. E

    This is the most beautiful breath-taking sort of weirdness I’ve ever seen. My heart, oh my heart, I gotcha, sis. Wow, and thanks. I needed this.

    Like

  2. Murrey

    For here we have no continuing city but we seek one to come . . .

    To me, that means Home is no longer in a certain community, or church, or culture, or house, or town, or county, or state. Home is not the cozy nest where we had our things and our Things all in place, and we knew where we fit, too.

    No more. Home has to be Wherever He Is, and ultimately His Home.

    And in the meantime, it means we Just. Don’t. Fit. much of anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Murrey

    So we’ve lost our home.

    Now our job is to begin to bring His Home (The KINGDOM!) wherever He’s placed us. And yes, that means being a conduit for endless love, endless grace, endless forgiveness, endless giving, all the endless resources of Heaven, poured out without discrimination and with reckless abandon on anyone within range.

    That’s how we build a new nest for ourselves when we’ve been displaced.

    It’s Home-Making–bringing His Home to earth.

    Like

  4. Hilda

    Your words offer such hope and encouragement to my heart as I feel more and more of the “painful stretch” of living between cultures. Yes, love is so key…both in our service to each other and in being personally centered in God’s love for us.

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  5. It was hard to read this, as I know the pain of walking the line between two cultures, two worlds so well. When “us”thinks you are one of “them” and vice versa. To be both, and neither at the same time. I struggle with remembering my identity as His child, as we all are and I wonder if those cultural labels mean anything to God? I want to be seen as an expression of God’s love. Bless you on your journey!

    Like

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