Today begins a series called “Love is.” What does love look like when its fleshed out? Maybe you’ve been on the giving end of extending love and maybe you’ve been on the receiving end. I hope yes to both. Either way – would you be willing to share it with us? I’d love it. A picture to accompany would be awesome but not necessary. When have you experienced the love of Jesus through someone else? Email me or share in the comments.
Today I’ll start by telling you a story and preface it by saying that some times Love looks flat out weird.
I can’t really explain it. I just know that after hearing Lisa and Emma’s story back in January I felt compelled to pray for them. Their family moved from CA to NC five months ago for 9 year old Emma to receive treatment at UNC Children’s Hospital for Cystic Fibrosis. All their family and everything they know is back in CA. I know what this is like. We did it 6 years ago. It’s not easy to move to a new place with two perfectly well children. I can’t wrap my mind around doing it with a very sick child.
Emma is my daughter’s age and so I told Sophie about Emma. Showed her pictures of her in the hospital and we started praying at night for Emma. Then I asked others to pray with us for them. Lisa and I exchanged one or two quick Facebook messages – I asked her permission to share some of her Bible journaling pictures with the workshop we did and told her we were praying for them. But that was it. We don’t know each other at all.
Fast forward to two days ago. All week long I knew Emma was back in the hospital for a nasal surgery. Lisa and her husband and their girls live about 3 hours from the hospital so when Emma is admitted Lisa’s husband drops her and Emma off and he takes the kids back to their home.
All week I’d just been heavy hearted for this family. So far from their extended family and friends. Walking an incredibly tough road with this illness. And I just felt like the Holy Spirit was impressing on me to make a trip to the hospital to visit Lisa and Emma. But I also knew how strange this would be. I fought it a few days because I didn’t want to be weird. But the Holy Spirit has put other things on my heart that I perceived as weird – yet I knew they were from him.
I ran it by Randy and told him my whacked thought and said, “I know it’s really strange but…..” He gave the thumbs up but also agreed with me it was kinda cray cray. I love this about my man. But he’s also wise enough to tell me no to the really really crazy things I consider doing. Like getting a tattoo. No, wait, he let me do that one. More like far fetched ideas of wanting to throw a city wide Thanksgiving Day dinner in the park. And other impossible things like that.
So I owned the weirdness and pulled Sophie out of school and we took a little road trip to the Children’s Hospital to see our friends – that didn’t know we were friends yet – Lisa and Emma.
Sophie read Dork Diaries to me out loud on the way there – not the most genius set of literature but HILARIOUS nonetheless.
We got to the check in desk and found out they don’t let kids under 12 on the patient floors. Talk about disappointment! We were both so bummed. Sophie reluctantly agreed to wait for me in the lobby while I went up to find Emma’s room. I told her I wouldn’t be long because you know…..I am a total stranger walking in a room and I might even get kicked out because of the weirdness. Ha but not Ha.
I timidly knocked on Emma’s door and poked my head in. I quickly said who I was and that we had talked briefly on Facebook. She said, “Oh yes!! I recognize you! Come on in.” And she gave me a bear hug and introduced me to Emma who was not feeling well at all. She’s such a beautiful little girl.
Then Lisa took me to the little corner of her room and showed me her Bible journaling station. She had a perfect little set up. Then she opened her Bible and showed me what she learned that morning in Esther. And we talked. And it wasn’t weird. I think it was because one woman of faith understood another woman of faith and how when Christ is fueling a love-filled action it shrinks the awkwardness.
Amazing faith this woman has. Lisa shared with me some specific requests for their family and I’d love for you to pray for them as well.
- For the 6 week antibiotic round to do it’s thing and kill the bacterial infection Emma has in her lungs.
- That Emma will communicate clearly her pain level instead of toughing it out all the time.
- Friends – since they just moved.
In looking back at this day I realize that sometimes the Holy Spirit puts stuff on our hearts and it’s so heavy you can’t get away from it. We can ignore it, think it’s a weird idea and run the other way or we can act on it as awkward as it may feel. It won’t feel right until you just do it and even then it could still feel weird. Weirdly right. That’s okay. Responding to Jesus through obedience is the key. I will be the first to say that many times I don’t get this right because of not wanting to press through the uncomfortable.
I’m also reminded that sometimes our ministry is in the waiting and behind the scenes. Sophie went fully expecting to see Emma. But she waited in the waiting room instead. And we were both bummed about this. I reminded her that part of her ministry that day was waiting. And that’s not always fun. Her 3rd grade class was also back in class praying for Emma and her Mom so they also were a part of this ministry as well. We all play different parts and they’re all equally important.
Love is – weird sometimes. Love is – waiting. Love is meeting new people that you feel like you’ve known forever because well that’s what the Holy Spirit does.
Press on friends!