Think of a time when you were moving or leaving good friends or a beloved family behind. Maybe you were headed off to college or moving to a new state to start a new job. You probably waved as you drove away or boarded your plane. But, did you remember to leave a little love? That’s exactly what Jesus did as he shared those last precious moments with his disciples.
A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
If only we were always so brave as to speak and to pour out an abundance of love. We’re human. We qualify how and how much we’re willing to give based on whether we’ll get it back.
Hurt makes us hesitant.
History can put a halt to it.
Disappointment can dissuade us.
Differences can redirect it.
Anger can make us hold love hostage.
Consider this: it’s really not yours to give. When genuine love is brimming in your spirit it can hardly be contained. You can’t hide it or disguise it. It just is what it is—a manifestation of Him, the One who loved us first without question, without qualifiers, without a care for whether it would be returned. I recall an interview featuring Oprah in which she said when she makes charitable donations, she does so from a place of genuine love and no regard for how the person or group will use it. I’m paraphrasing, but she essentially said it was none of her business what the recipient of her generosity did with it. They could’ve used the cash as wallpaper. Regardless, her love went out into the world. She poured out without regard for the outcome.
As I mature, I’m no longer embarrassed by those three little words: I love you. They escape my lips (probably too often) as I consider how we never know when it’ll be the last time we speak to someone. When dealing with an abrasive personality now, something grabs hold of me and I’m less inclined to meet ire with ire. I think of the most loving response that I can humanly muster in that moment.
It amazes me how fear, pride, insecurity and self-righteousness can convince people to either withhold or resist love altogether. When Jesus said it was a new commandment, he never mentioned it had to meet a certain criterion. He just told those disciples to go out and give it, knowing that human weakness would be the greatest challenge to their charge. A dear friend of mine recently returned to online dating after a few dating disasters and disappointments. Determined not to give up, she recently declared over Sunday brunch, “You just gotta go out there and love something!”
That’s the spirit! Now go out there and pour it out.