As I reflect on this year, God seems like he’s after two themes in my life. First is demands: my demands, my kids demands, my husband’s demands, the demands of other people I know. Things I believe I am entitled to: my opinions, my longings, being heard, being understood, other people doing the right thing, people around me doing the considerate thing. But as I demand, consciously and unconsciously, life is increasingly more and more difficult. Frustrating. Hard! I read something the other day that said “marriage is only as hard as you are selfish” wow. I often say marriage is hard. I am selfish. And demanding. As I see this negative pattern, I decide (again) that I’m going to try harder to be more selfless, more easy going. But it’s never enough and I feel like a dog chasing my own tail.
Actually, I think the answer is the other theme God keeps bringing up to me and that is love. Not the common everyday word that gets tossed around in virtually any situation. But that hard sacrificial thing Jesus did. Love; and give up your time. Love; and give up your money. Love; and don’t give your opinion. Love; and listen to someone else’s story. Love; instead of demand. This is also hard but instead of the dog chasing its own tail hard, it’s more like trying to climb a mountain hard. Difficult by not futile.
So my quest is before me. When I feel demand rise in the back of my throat instead of trying to quell it I want my first thought to be. How can I love in this situation? When I am wronged and I feel demand for rightness, I want to ask myself what would it look like to have grace for that person? When my observant and critical eye catches sight of someone else’s mistake or oversight or wrong, and I feel a comment burning on my tongue, I want my first thought to be a prayer for them instead.
I want to be transformed by love. I want love in and around; on my face, in my eyes, through my hands, amidst my words. Love in the morning, love at night. Love as my guard and love as my guide.
Recently I read the story of the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and a single touch from Jesus she was healed. In reading that scripture, I knew I was that woman. Hemorrhaging from my mouth for 12 years, saying anything that came to mind that I believed to be true regardless of whether it was done so in love. So just like that woman I am desperately seeking to be healed. Just one touch from my Savior and then the love can flow.