This weekend I had the opportunity to go to the CHILD Cancer Fund’s Golf Tournament Kick Off Party in Sawgrass. The event was a kick off and fundraiser for the tournament with a silent and live auction. Some of the items in the silent auction were paintings done by child cancer patients. One that stood out to me was this painting for Love by a child we will call Patience. I initially liked it for the cause, the artist, the colors and the design.
My appreciation for the painting changed Saturday morning as I watched the sunrise at Jax Beach. Sidenote — If you have been following my blog, you know I love sunrises and sunsets. It’s probably the most peaceful thing. ever. I got a coffee from Starbucks, grabbed my beach chair and a towel and just watched the sunrise over the beach. I love this relaxing time to reflect, pray and just listen to the ocean. Time seems to fly by faster and faster these days. When was the last time you stopped and watched a sunrise or sunset? When was the last time you stopped and watched something beautiful, something fascinating?
So this was my something beautiful moment, my sunrise!
While I was watching the sunrise I thought about the painting. Why does it have 5 dots before the word love? I’ve seen “love…” so many times. “Love…” makes me think you have love and then what. And was there nothing before Love? We live in a society that’s always looking for the next step. The single people want to be married, the married people want kids, the family wants more kids or a bigger house or more _____, fill in the blank. It seems like love’s just not enough. What we have in the present just isn’t enough. Everything comes after love, hence Love… I think this is the wrong way of thinking and I hope you can see this too.
John 3:16, the famous Tim Tebow scripture, says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” When I think of God’s love for us, I think of the cross and what happened before the cross. Jesus was rejected by many but was a provider, a healer, a miracle worker, a teacher and our savior. Jesus poured his love on his people and then pour his love out to us by sacrificing himself on the cross. What happened before the cross, the dots before the word Love, was the perfect representation of God’s love, which paved the path for God’s everlasting love on us through the holy spirit. I don’t think of God as “love and now what” I think of God’s perfect love for us, his agape love, and what happened before the cross when Jesus was persecuted and loved us/the people despite their sin and hate.
1 Corinthians 13:13 says “and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” At the end there’s love. Not in the beginning and then there’s more. But that you have all of everything you’ve ever needed and love is the greatest of what remains. So for me “…..Love” says despite all the stuff that happens before love that we don’t think about, love is in the end. You will love again and be loved and it will be agape love. Thinking no matter what trials and tribulations you might face, God’s Love overcomes and overpowers everything.
Our love should be the same. We are called to be Christ-like. To be Christ-like is to put God first and to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” Mark 12:30. To put others first and to love no matter what the past, present or future might hold. God calls us to “love your neighbor as yourself” – Mark 12:31
So when I think about Christ-like love, I think …..Love. …..Love meaning that whatever happened before and because of what happens, what remains is love. If we are to have this kind of mentality, I think our world would be a more caring, nurturing place. God is all about second and third and fourth and so on chances because he’s a …..Love kind of God.
So are you living life as a Love….. kind of person – thinking now that I have love, X, Y and Z will come next? Or are you a …..Love kind of person- where you love despite the before and if you’re going through the “…..” phase now, you know that Love will remain? Through persevering and focusing on God even during the “…..” The love that remains will be great.
So I challenge you to take a simple painting, a picture, a moment and think about its deeper meaning. Pray on it. Reflect on it. Thank you Patience for this beautiful painting and reflection on love!