God\’s Love Manifested

As I mentioned yesterday, Nels, my stepfather, is in the hospital with an unintentional medication overdose. They are flushing his system and trying to fully stabilize him. The news yesterday was good: the kidneys and liver are not damaged, and the chances of him regaining clear thinking and getting his memory fully back are good.

Ever since his thinking got off track (at least a week ago), he has been refusing food and drink (which has only heightened the level of toxin in his system). At the hospital simply asking him to eat isn\’t enough to compel him to eat. His sister came one night and by making dinner fun to eat, got him to eat. Last night he wasn\’t going to eat again. Just said \’No\’. So, I pretty much got in his face and told him it wasn\’t an option, that he needed to eat if he wanted to ever leave the hospital (he is hating the hospital stay). Then Mom and I started talking about all the foods on the tray and cut things up making it ready for ingestion. Sure enough he ate, not a lot, but he ate. He also is drinking again…that seems to be coming more naturally for him–the food, not so much.

So, is there a lesson here? Well, sometimes I think we think that love has to look a certain way. It has to be all warm and fuzzy and non-intrusive. If we read the Bible we see a God who isn\’t always warm and fuzzy and can be quite intrusive. God is love, the Gospel of John and other books of the Bible say as much. So, if God is love and isn\’t always warm and fuzzy then what is love? The way I see it, love is doing the will of God, which is always providing what is needed in the moment. Sometimes that is warm and fuzzy cuddles, sometimes that is getting in someone\’s face so they know others care enough about them to help them do the what is best (a lot of parents miss this one, hence children without discipline, without boundaries), sometimes that is standing back and not enabling someone to rely on you so they find how to stand on their own two feet before God, sometimes that is shutting up when we want to speak, sometimes that is providing accountability and/or discipline and consequences, sometimes that is just listening, sometimes that is extending help, sometimes that is writing a check, sometimes that is praying for another, sometimes that is providing counsel and/or teaching, sometimes that is forgiving another, sometimes that is becoming a missionary in a far off land, sometimes that is seeking justice for the helpless in our community, etc. etc. etc. Thankfully God provides His Church with differing gifts and differing personalities so that each can contribute in the way God has gifted them to help manifest His love to others.

Love is varied and wide…God is varied and wide. He\’s out to help us grow and love is the only way He does it because that is who He is. If we get/stay in tune with His will, we can be sure we\’re manifesting His love, even if it doesn\’t look like what culture says love is. It\’s OK to let God out of the box, in doing so He is given the room to bring, through us, the light that is needed for someone else\’s walk…

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