Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Love is Never Trite

John 3:16 For God had such love for the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever has faith in him may not come to destruction but have eternal life.

We all know that verse, Christians and sports lovers everywhere. It is a great and often used verse. Sometimes when sayings and proverbs and quotes have been used very often, they are deemed to be trite. But not this verse, not ever. No matter who we are, we need to be reminded of God's love for us.
Years ago I used to go to a Catholic Charismatic prayer meeting. I formed close friendships with people in that group, and even though I am not particularly charismatic ( I'm talking about Charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, not whether or not I am Princess Charming), I was made to feel welcome, beloved, and at home.
One day, a friend shared that she felt the Holy Spirit telling her to tell the woman across the street that God loves her. Frannie did not know the lady across the street, so she felt it would be awkward to ring the bell and say "God wanted me to tell you that He loves you!". All day she felt the urging of the Holy Spirit, and she ignored Him. Frannie is a good Christian woman, and felt terrible about ignoring the Holy Spirit. It gnawed at her all day and all night.
The next day, she saw the lady working in her garden. Frannie walked over and timidly told her "Um, I know we haven't really met, but I have felt like God wanted me to tell you that He loves you...." Frannie did not have to continue. The woman burst into tears. She told Frannie that her husband had died, her children lived far away, and that the day before she had cried all day, feeling that life was not worth living, because nobody loved her. The message of God's love brought peace to her heart. She had most likely heard "Smile, God loves you" before, or the bible verse above, or somewhere somehow heard this message. But she needed to hear it again. It made a difference to her then and there!
Frannie shared this story with us to urge us to listen to the Holy Spirit when He speaks, even if He tells us to speak the obvious. I am sharing her story here, not for that ( which may be a good message, but I wouldn't use Frannie's experience to do that. She is not the only one who has fought the Holy Spirit. The woman I see in the mirror has done that too), but because I think it shows that the message "God loves you!" needs to be said over and over and over. It is the best message I have ever received, or passed on.
My Letter to the Tribune is on their Website."


Matt @ The Church of No People said...

great story. I have the hardest time with doing what the Spirit wants when it's difficult or awkward.

Sherri said...

If we could all be sensitive and obedint to His voice, there's just no telling the power we would be given to touch lives...little ways...big results!

Great post Helen.

Annie K said...

Helen, YAY(!) I'm so glad they posted your essay. How exciting! You never know who needs to read that today.

I agree with Matt...it's hard to be obedient to the HS when it's awkward. I always second guess and do the 'is that really God telling me or is it just me thinking it'.

Thanks for sharing that!

Sherri said...

CONGRATS on your Chicage Tribune Nod. Looks like the did recognize a good story. I think we should all type a comment to them on how much we enjoyed your story!

Beth said...

They published your essay!!!! And it's first in line! I'm excited for you and excited for each and every person who gets to read about the best gift we could ever receive.

You really are a talented writer, Helen. Today's post is so great, too.

Even the times that I reach out because of the Holy Spirit's prompting and I don't see instant results, I know that I have obeyed, and it makes it that much easier to obey the next time...

Mare said...

I love stories like Frannies! They make me yearn to be obediant and get to be a part of something so fulfilling. When I begin to feel such prompting to do something similar I can't help it, I just think..."that's really weird, akward, scary, embarrassing, uncomfortable, etc and am tempted to back out. Sometimes I do and I think what's worse than knowing what you missed out on doing, is not knowing because next time around I dont' know what I missed the previous time! Chai.

I LOVE that they published your story. Props to them and props to you. woohoo!

katdish said...

Hey, maybe they've got some sense after all! Congrats, Helen. I'm so tired right now! I'll stop back by tomorrow! Nighty night! And I passed my defensive driving course. (100% - thankyouverymuch!)

Gabrielle Eden said...

Congrats Helen! Good story and so true - we need to listen to the Holy Spirit and I am guilty too of not listening. This echoes what the Lord has been speaking to me about His love. We need more of His love in us and through us. I need to write about it but I think I need Helen to write it.