Love Beyond Understanding

Kathy, do you Love me?

Yes, Lord, you know I Love you.

Tend my Sheep.

I love my congregational community. I pray with them, I laugh with them, I mourn with them. I seek friendship, approval and guidance from my community, from these individuals whom I have been sent to serve. I love them more than even I understand.

I love my family. I travel with them, I celebrate holidays with them, I cook and eat with them. I look forward to conversations in person, on the phone, and across the world. I love them more than even I understand.

I love my husband. I play with him, I grow with him, I cuddle with him. We debate deep theological topics and whether a piece of clothing is green or blue. I love him more than even I understand.

With all this loving, you’d think I’d have it all under control. I wish. I wish I had love down perfect. I wish that I could extend the love of Jesus through me to everyone around me in a way that was unique to each and everybody’s individual needs. I sometimes spend hours trying to come up with ways to learn more, serve more, and love more. I will be the first to say that I do know how to do it perfectly. I am growing on to perfection, but it is proving to be a long journey indeed.

I don’t stop loving. I don’t stop loving, even when it feels like I have nothing left to give. I can rest for a while in the love of God and then find a new reserve of love, one that maybe I hadn’t known about, or maybe I knew that if I had to access it, it was going to be tough when I got there. I have had extremely difficult moments in my life where the last thing I wanted to do was love.

I am loved more than even I understand.

As a child, there were girls that were mean and bullied me about my choice in television shows. When I was in college, I still had things to learn about living with folks, and I had someone try to bribe me to give up my room and move to the basement. I have seen others hurt and damaged because of a careless or hateful word. I have had to tell someone that they could not say a racial slur because it was demeaning to others. I’ve heard someone says something so off the wall that I’ve been stunned to silence.

But if I listen, if I still follow Jesus, if I take care and listen to my shepherd rather than the first thing that wants to boil off my tongue, then I will continue to grow in service and in love. I want everything I do to reflect the love that has been granted to me. I want everything I do to reflect the grace that I have received. I want my every action to be an act of Love.

I am loved more than even I understand.

As I grow to that, even my most selfless acts of Love may be misinterpreted, or cast into the mud. But that love will not be wasted. The love of the act of the conversation, of the holy listening, of the care, of the service, of the ministry to which I have been called will shine out. Maybe a few days down the line. Perhaps a few years later, the Love that was planted in that space will sprout the new growth of Love for years to come.

I am loved more than even I understand.

This is my holy prayer, this is my loving hope. Amen.

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