Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Love from the Heart

“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy” (Psalm 116:1, NIV 2011).

He was an old man and lonely. The illness for which I treat him is presently not a problem, but the absence of people to spend time with him is a major burden. A sweet man. Usually he has someone from his church bring him to his appointments. Today was no exception. I’m not sure he would remember to come if they did not. After we finished his examination and I was showing him out of the room, he stopped me, “Wait a minute,” he said. He grabbed my hand and the hand of the one who had brought him, bowed his head and began to pray for me, for his health, for his friend, a prayer of thanks. And then he ended with words to God I rarely hear in open prayer, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” These words keep ringing in my ears.

How often do I say these words to God, from my heart?
“I love you. I love you. I love you.”
Certainly I speak them in high moments of worship—but not often otherwise. I more often speak words like trust, seek and obey than I do to love. And, in truth, God wants our love to be active and not simply emotional. Trusting, seeking and obeying are certainly measures of our love for God. But this man’s deep, spontaneous love from the heart is something I long for.
So, how do I get there?
Looking at my own life, I probably should continue with trust, seek and obey, and then add more walk, rest and thank.
I think I need to continue to give of myself in service but also to receive more from Him: the magnificence of His presence, the comfort of His arms and the visceral awareness of undeserved blessings He has poured out for me.

Dear Father,
I love you. Help me love you more.

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