To know I loved well.

I was reading back through my journal last night and found this line that I wrote when I returned last year from Italy: “I’m glad my heart aches, because it means I loved well.” 

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I have been home these days unpacking not just my suitcase, but also the things in my heart I have felt this summer. And, I’ve shared much less on the social media scene these past months. It has been hard, very hard to find words to type that do justice to what I want share, but I think this should not surprise me because I believe we are made to live life face-to-face with each other. We are made for intimacy-- the beautiful one on one, look me in the eyes, kind of connection. And as much as we feel like it can, social media will never quite accomplish this. Some of my favorite moments this summer were not playing music on a stage, nor were they the ones when we were around many people, doing many things. They were the one-on-one moments that I cannot even share here because they were too precious and too sacred. They were the moments of connecting with a person in sincerity and sharing with them the real truth of Jesus, and watching God move in our midst. The greatest treasure was found in the hidden places. It’s like the song we all love: “Oh the reckless love of God... it chases me down, fights till’ I’m found, leaves the 99.” We cannot miss this truth. In the parable, Jesus says the kingdom of God is like the shepherd who left the 99 for the one. Wow. This is not a picture of fruitfulness coming in the way we are used to. The pursuit of the one is a costly sacrifice, a risk, and it’s for ONE. I believe this is God’s heart. My prayer this summer has been, “Lord, may this be my heart and the heart of the Church.” I believe revival will come in this way— in the face-to-face moments of true connection, and discipleship. It will come through meeting people, seeing them, pursuing them as Jesus did, and inviting them to know our great God. It may feel more powerful when we do ministry from a stage, or when we send out our words on our social media platform, BUT if that is our only aim, we are missing the precious ones who are around us who have eyes to look into, hearts that are hurting, and need healing from a real God. That is why I love the word “ministry.” Jesus has a ministry where he went out to the world, to seek, to save, and to heal people who were lost and in need. Wow. Oh to love like Jesus loved. Oh to minister as Jesus did. Lord, how beautiful is your love.  

I am grateful for the times I can use social media like now to share thoughts that I hope might encourage someone who reads it. It is a wonderful thing to share precious things of the heart and pour them out like an offering. May we love well, and allow the Lord to lead us to love in ways that stretch our hearts further out, even to the point where it aches. But when my heart aches, from those growing pains, I know I loved well. 

I chose this photo to share with this post because I thought it was a true little glimpse into such a moment that we experienced on this trip. This one was with Michael, and the little son of one of the missionary families we stayed with. He loved to watch Michael play music but he also just loved to spend time playing with him.

I chose this photo to share with this post because I thought it was a true little glimpse into such a moment that we experienced on this trip. This one was with Michael, and the little son of one of the missionary families we stayed with. He loved to watch Michael play music but he also just loved to spend time playing with him.