“A picture is worth a thousand words….Seeing is believing…A picture never lies…Preach the Gospel at all times
and when necessary, use words…” We are a very visual culture. Pictures, slide shows, paintings and
visual images communicate far more than words. So why should we love one another?
No too long ago, I lost a cousin and I was instantly reminded how each time he saw me, we hugged and he always said “I love you, cuz…” and I knew that he did and he knew that I loved him in return. He will leave a big hole in our family – and especially with his immediate family – an older sister is the only surviving sibling…this would be a difficult place to journey and she will need a lot of love to get her through this thing called grief.
Because “no one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” Did you catch that? In this world where there is so little love shown to many, how desperately that love is needed. “If (or when) we love one another, God dwells in us and his love is perfected in us.” This is a big task for all of us.
Can other people see God in us? Yes! If others can see God in us, then isn’t that kind of like seeing God? Maybe ~ depending on your views of how God looks to each of us ~ we can be more God-like to others and that may be a little less intimidating. However, what an awesome responsibility for each of us ~ for others to see God in us.
We have choices to make in how we love one another because when we don’t love, when we say things that are hurtful, when we gossip, become indifferent to the pain and suffering in our world or decide to “pick” on someone who is different…then, we are exactly the opposite of love.
God gave the ultimate gift of love ~ his son, who was born divine-human, grew up, played, and lived pretty much as we live, other than the difference in times of life. God had one thought in his mind – he loved us so much he gave his son, knowing that he would die on the cross for our sins. What a visual image….service, selflessness and sacrifice…all to show us His love so that we could see the invisible God. Who around us might see the invisible God through our love for others?
As we enter this Holy time of year, reflecting on life, death and resurrection, there is one thing for certain. We need to ask for guidance. We need guidance to be a person that our family, church family, friends and neighbors know even in our humanness, there is love and a glimpse of God because when we love, we can rest assured that whatever happens in this life we live on earth, that is the one thing that never dies – love. When we have loved and our actions depict this love for God, family, friends and people at large, we have experienced God and people have seen what might be an invisible God in their lives.
I was reminded of a similar love at the funeral of my cousin. Another cousin sang “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” and people in the chapel knew that the words were different. She spoke at the end before she sang her last song, and she said, “these were the words my Grandmother Carroll sang to all of her children and not the words in the hymnal (there were seven children and grandmother was a single mother) and the words have been passed down for us as we face crisis, happiness or death.” What a gift of love – a mother whose faith was so strong, that she made words to fit her circumstances and they are still being sung today. This song has been sung in my grandmother’s words for every Carroll family member who has died. What an awesome way of teaching our children not just about our love, but the ultimate love of God! May we love one another, as difficult as that may be at times, as He loves us and may we turn our eyes upon Jesus ~
Blessings to each of you during this Holy Season and may you feel the deep peace of God’s love and share it with others as you journey through this life so they see the invisible love of God.