Tuesday, August 21st
Read: Galatians 6 (particularly verse 10)
Remember: “If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.” Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa's above quote starts our chapter, Free to Love. Rebekah Lyons then unfolds her story about how she, step by step, continues to learn how to love her husband in deeper, more impactful ways. Today, I also want to focus on a family member. Interestingly, and totally NOT the direction I thought I was going to go with my post, but by God's nudging, I want to focus on... my mother. Simply put, my mother taught me much about love. Part of my testimony (that some of y'all have heard) is that at age three, I was badly burned. This tragic accident consumed our family for quite some time. I do not remember much about my toddler years, but one thing I do know, is that my mother was right there by my side through it all. I remember her, time and time again, gently rubbing lotion on my itching post surgery legs. I remember her holding me close in a comforting, protective way. She became my safe place. Part of my story is that ironically, I was a swimmer from age six until after college, so my burns were very exposed to many eyes on a daily basis. I was known to many as "the swimmer with the scars." I remember my mother saying to me when I struggled with how my appearance looked to the world, "Chris, if I could take these burns off you and put them on me, I would do it." I knew she meant it. Sounds a lot like Christ to me.
Fast forward many decades. Today, my sweet momma is now 76 years old. The roles have changed. Her back pain and other things limit her lifestyle. I check in with her with texts and calls; my husband and I eat Sunday lunch with her and my dad; I go visit her on Thursdays; I take her shopping, and I help her in other ways when she needs it. I do NOT do this perfectly; at times, I have to pray about my attitude. The bottom line however, is that I want to give back to my mother the sweet love she has always freely given me. I'm thankful that God used this week's chapter to remind me of this deep, sometimes buried truth.
Our reading today completes the book of Galatians. Paul’s love for the church of Galatia was an active love. His love for fellow believers (his "family") compelled him to encourage them, confront them, and urge them to a better way to live in freedom. As we rest in the freedom of Christ, let’s pause to thank God that freedom in Christ includes relationships with others. Ask Him to show you if there is a way you can actively show love to someone in your family (physical or spiritual) today.
I thank you for the precious people in our lives who have loved us freely. Help us to pause and remember them in an honoring way. I pray they will inspire us to also love generously. You tell us, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (Eph. 6:10). Show us, O God, who needs to be touched by Your love that resides in our hearts. Spill it out of us in Spirit-led ways, causing both the giver and the receiver to marvel at Your goodness. I pray this in the Name that started it all, Jesus King of Love. Amen.