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."