love

‘Love is patient, love is kind…’ Blah. Blah Blah. Yah, it’s absolutely true…but do the people that quote it at every wedding really buy in to the actually gritty truth of love?

Love is hard. Love is pain. Love is loss. Love is your heart being taken out of your chest, stomped on and put back inside.

And.

Love is beautiful. Love is sacred. Love is loyal. Love is sacrifice.

Love is hard to explain.

People make such a big deal out of ‘love.’ But lately I’ve found they are overusing the word. And I’m guilty of it, too. I LOVE this book. I LOVE this music. I LOVE this friendship.

Has our overuse of the word love taken the truth out of it?

Jesus didn’t overuse the word love, he meant it. Crazy, die-on-the-cross meant it.

I asked a student what she thought the word love meant yesterday. She said, ‘That you would die for someone.’ My response? ‘Okay, have you really thought out what dying for someone means?’ Her response? ‘Not really.’

AlyoshaWe don’t give a lot of thought to the words we use. But we should. They can be hateful. They can be accusing. They can be sarcastic. (Guilty.) They can be loving. They can be compassionate. Actually, you can say one thing, and then the tone it is said in makes it heard in a completely different way than what you meant.

Love can make your heart expand a million times bigger than your chest. I have experienced the blessing of that in Russia with the kids I have connected with in the orphanages we’ve worked with. I actually wrote about it over a year ago in ‘reminiscing’ talking about the first person I really fell in love with, warning…it’s long. Check it out if you haven’t, because it easily fits my definition of love.

How do you define love? What do you use it for?

Jesus said love God, love others. But how many days out of the week do we actually accomplish that for him?

I believe love does conquer all, but if I believe that I should probably stop saying I love dumplings…because I’m pretty sure dumplings don’t conquer all.

language

You know you are a mission geek when…

Yah, I’m not going to finish that sentence, mostly, because we all know it to be true already.

I had a mission geek moment last night, and was reminded by how God started adjusting my ‘mission’ definition to a ‘Kingdom’ mindset.

I picked up a book titled, “Surprised by Hope” by N.T. Wright who is Bishop of Durham…yet another Brit teaching Americans theology. And I don’t mean that snarky…there are just so many foreigners that are speaking into a lot of different areas. Quite honestly, his books make my brain hurt, but in a good way. “Surprised by Hope” busted open my view of God’s Kingdom in a way that I’d never imagined.

It all fed into the reason I chose to break down my language about ‘missions’ last Lenten season, and go back to scripture to relearn God’s sending language.

Language is incredibly important. God has been shedding a lot of light lately on how often we are having a conversation with someone about something, yet the way we each define that something is completely different. My friends are noticing lately that I’ve started inserting, ‘Ok, I mean this when I say…’ or ‘What do you mean when you say…’

I think it is because I’ve begun to realize we very rarely speak the same language. And it is even truer when you start talking ‘mission’ language. How many people do you know who balk when they hear the word ‘calling’ or ‘missionary’? These words are not scary when you break them down to the simplest form of God has created you with the specific DNA to love others with compassion for him. It is a calling, and it makes you a missionary in whatever contect God already has you living.

More often than not fights, arguments and miscommunications come from not working from the same definitions of what we are talking about. If we would just be patient enough to stop, listen to how someone else sees something and clarify meaning…so many arguments would dissolved before relationships were lost.

Language is why I appreciate N.T. Wright so much. He speaks Bible, granted using big words, but he is consistently, continually and constantly pointing back to scripture, which is where we should all be getting our language from…when was the last time really you believed what Jesus said, to the point of actually living it? Because there is where the Biblical language comes alive…