Wednesdays with Jillene: known by our love

So the last week and a few days of my life has been rather like a rollercoaster: labor and delivery, newborn baby, some breathing trouble, 7-day NICU stay…

Baby Iris

Putting it down like that makes it seems cut and dry but add in exhaustion, hormones and a mother’s love (just to name a few additional factors) and you get a recipe for emotional, mental and spiritual highs and unforeseen lows that make the whole thing wonderful and heartbreaking all-in-one.

And yet… I’d scroll through facebook, drive down the street, walk by people in the hallway and wonder: How is it possible that everyone else’s world did not begin and/or screech to a halt like mine? How are they just going about their day? Don’t they know what just happened here? Don’t they care?

But, here’s the thing, any other day our places would be switched and I’d be the oblivious one.

Baby Iris NICU

Why don’t we see?

Why don’t we listen?

Why don’t we have compassion?

 

Sometimes I’ve wondered as a car passes me heading down the road in the other direction or a set of eyes catches mine as we casually pass in the grocery store isle… what are they going through? What is their story?

But how often do I really care?

I heard this story a few weeks ago, did you? About the woman who learned of her father’s suicide while she shopped at Whole Foods? Well, she did what any one of us might do when their world falls out from beneath our feet and she fell down, was rendered broken and unable to function. And you know what? The strangers in the store surrounded her, cared for her in that moment of brokenness with the tenderness of the closest of friends. And I wondered, would that have been me? Would I have stopped to care?

All too often the harshness of life shows us the reality of Job 12:5:

People who are at ease mock those in trouble.

They give a push to people who are stumbling.

Rough I know. We’d like to think it wasn’t true but, when we’re honest, it isn’t hard to find examples of the how harsh we humans can be to one another.

And it’s a shame.

No, really a plain shame that when life is good for us it is all to easy to blame, look down upon, just plain ignore, (or even worse) further hurt those who are in depths of trouble.

Yet it happens.

I think it happens because we forget… we forget so many things to be sure. We forget what it was like to be hurting. We forget what it was like to struggle.

What’s worse, we forget we belong to one another. We forget we are connected.

 So it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

Romans 12 5

 

I love that language: we belong to each other.

Oh, when we know that in Christ we are part of one body, that we belong to each other, how different life looks.

-That accident you pass on the highway becomes something so different than a spectacle to gawk upon…

-The people squealing with joy while talking on the phone becomes something more than a silly encounter to laugh over…

-The mother struggling with her child throwing a fit in the store deserves so much more than your scorn at the noise…

-The man sharing news with joy and trepidation of a new job becomes more than a mere status update…

 

To know that we belong to each other well… it’s enough to explode your heart with joy or break your heart with compassion. We should be so much more. We should care so much more.

In the age of life lived through Facebook it is now all too easy to click like, heart, sad face, horror, etc. and call it a day.

Too easy to give a minimal response, turn away and ignore the realities as we become wrapped up in ourselves again.

 

But we were loved for so much more.

Daddy's Love

 

Love and care, I’ll tell you that there is a special place in this world I know without a doubt I’ve experienced it. Since my first time becoming a mother almost 16 years ago, I’ve always said that there are no more caring people in this world than Labor and Delivery nurses. All these children later I can honestly say that still holds true.

If you and I sat down I could give story after story as example of their compassion, self-sacrificial caring, and attention that has yet to be matched in my life experience. At a moment when a woman is most vulnerable they care like no other. (After spending time in the NICU I’d say those nurses are RIGHT up there too!)

In my eyes, Labor and Delivery nurses are known by their abundant care and compassion.

 

Christian, here’s the thing: WE should be known by our love. Jesus said, “This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:35

It’s what makes real community, what makes us the Body of Christ: our love for one another.

The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

1 Corinthians 12:26

Oh, to live this way… to love this way:

If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and the healing.

If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exhuberance.

 

THAT is how to live in love and community… THAT is how to be the Body of Christ…

THAT is how to be known by our love.

 

A meme that regularly makes its way around facebook says:

NotWesleyQuote

And while I’m not looking to get into a debate on whether or not this is actually from Wesley, what challenges me is that this is how our LOVE should look.

 

 

Let’s live and be known by our love as Jesus in love poured out His life for us let us pour out our lives in love for each other.

~Jillene

 

Love Feels Like”

(feat. DC Talk)

I am tired, I am drained

But the fight in me remains

I am weary, I am worn

Like I’ve never been before

 

This is harder than I thought

Harder than I thought it’d be

Harder than I thought

Takin’ every part of me

Harder than I thought

So much harder than I thought it’d be

But empty’s never felt so full

 

This is what love (this is what love)

This is what love

Feels like

This is what love (this is what love)

This is what love

Feels like

Poured out, used up, still givin’,

stretching me out to the end of my limits

This is what love (this is what love)

This is what real love

Feels like

This is what love feels like poured out,

used up still willin’ to fight for it

This is what love feels like

Yeah, this is what it feels like

 

Like floating confetti

The beautiful gets messy

When the fall out finds the floor

But in the depths of the trenches

Is the richest of riches

Love is calling us to more

 

This is what love (this is what love)

This is what love

Feels like

This is what love (this is what love)

This is what love

Feels like

Poured out, used up, still givin’,

stretching me out to the end of my limits

This is what love (this is what love)

This is what real love

Feels like

This is what love feels like poured out,

used up still willin’ to fight for it

This is what love feels like

Yeah, this is what it feels like

 

And now these three remain

Faith, hope and love

But the greatest of these is love

 

It’s worth everything you put in

Everything you put in…

Love

This is what it feels like

 

Poured out, used up, still givin’,

stretching me out to the end of my limits

 

This is what love (this is what love)

Feels like

This is what love (this is what love)

This is what love

Feels like

This is what love (this is what love)

Feels like

This is what love (this is what love)

This is what love

Feels like

 

This is what love (this is what love)

Feels like

 

Poured out, used up, still givin’,

Poured out, used up, still givin’,

Poured out, used up, still givin’,

stretching me out to the end of my limits

 

4 thoughts on “Wednesdays with Jillene: known by our love

  1. being in the NICU with Henry for two months is what brought me to the cross. Jesus’ love over whelming me. People who cared for us even tho they did not know us. people who did know us, stepping up and taking care of us. everyday I look for some way to share that love that we were given, 18 years ago. often I wonder, as I look at people in the grocery store, hospital, hallways at the school “what is their story”. everyone has one. taking time and being able to share those stories is something we do not do in today’s world. that is one of the biggest loses of today’s world.
    Thank You Jesus, for being in my story.

    Like

    • How wonderful Donna! It is a real life example of living knowing that what might have been meant for evil, God meant for good (Genesis 50:20) and being able to see how God works all things to good (Romans 8:28) because you CHOOSE to live intentionally! Praising and thanking God for His love and purpose in your life!

      Like

  2. love you Jill!!!! Thanks for the wise words – I remember feeling this way when Jeffrey died – everyone’s life just went on and mine was destroyed – how do you answer the store clerk that asks how your days going? I know that NICU nurses are way at the top of my list of compassionate people – we were so blessed by them! So glad Iris is doing well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Aunt Barb! I have been blessed by the times that through something as simple as asking how someone’s day was going that God opened the door to love on them, pray for them or care for them. I had a few neat moments in the NICU when I chose to open my eyes to those around me and watched as God opened doors for me to chose to live in LOVE.

      Like

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