Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Unrequited Love

I honestly couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I was both stunned and heart-sick at the same time.

The Pastor had just challenged us from God's Word to love one another.  The new commandment had raised the bar.  This was a different measure of love.   It was no longer just enough to love others as we love ourselves (Romans 13:9), but now we are called to love as Christ loved (John 13:34).  This is radical, intentional, sacrificial love.

Drawing the sermon to a close, as an immediate response and act of love, we were asked to stand, reach out and take hold of the hand of the person standing on either side of us while the Pastor closed in prayer.  All across the sanctuary the body of Christ was coming together as one.  Brothers and sisters were uniting in the bond of love.  Until...

In the row ahead of me a precious lady reached out to take hold of the hand of the one beside her.  She was met with a wall.  Not only was a receptive hand not extended in response, but this one to her right, stood untouched, both by human contact and God's Word.  Resistance was written across the body language.  The hand extended was not acknowledged or accepted.

With a pitiful, "I don't know what to do" look, this sweet lady glanced back at me.  She tried again.  Nothing.  At this point I wish I could have grown a third hand.  The Pastor began to pray, and quite honestly I couldn't tell you what he said.  My heart was broken.  Shattered for the dear one who tried applying God's Word, and aching for the one denying His Word.

If seconds after hearing truth, while still sitting in church pews we can remain unaffected, how on earth can we live out God's Word in the world?  How are others going to see Christ's love if we can't even extend His love to those in the body of Christ?  You know what hurts too?  I know both these people.  It was so hard for my mind to wrap around what I was watching take place in front of me.  Have some of us become so set in our ways that even God Himself couldn't penetrate our stubborn hearts?

In absolute stunned silence, I prayed the Lord would take the hand of the one met with unrequited love.   Jesus knows exactly how she felt.  His nail-scarred hands reached out on the cross to take the hand of a lost world.  His hand still reaches out today.  I'm reaching back in response.  How about you?

post signature

No comments: