The Power of Love

The power of love is not just the greatest Celine Dion song ever written.The power of love is redemptive.  Love saves, rescues, sets free.  Love restores honor, worth, and reputation.  Love is redemptive.Most of my life, I've ran from love.  I don't mean the boy meets girl kind of love, I mean the life giving, life altering, life long kind of love found in our best friends, in healthy families, in true community.  I'm not sure, in some ways, that I'm not still running.This kind of love is risky... vulnerable, honest, passionate, full of emotion with a commitment to restraint.I'm not the best "sharer".  I'll empty my wallet, give you the shirt off my back, serve you until I am blue in the face, but I recently realized I'm really uncomfortable with questions like, "How are you?" "How's everything going?"  "What's happening in your world?" "How's your day?"Oy vey, what do we really mean when we ask these questions?  And which part of how am I, what's happening, how was my day, do people really want to know?  Do you mean today, like this moment, or yesterday when I thought I'd explode?  I never even know where to start with those questions (work, personal, marriage, friendship, things that blew up in my face this week, etc.), so I usually just give a general answer and move things right along.  Doesn't mean I don't want to share... I think I'm realizing I just don't know how to.I need the redemptive power of love.  The kind of love that sets me free to share and rescues me from my naturally introverted, isolated myself.  The kind of love that breaks down the surface walls and gets straight to the heart of the matter.  The kind of love that inspires joy and freedom, but still welcomes what's ugly, as we explore who we are, the experiences we've had, the pain we've somehow endured.I think we all need this kind of love.Nobody has it all together, thank God, or I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.  And we are desperate for love, whether we acknowledge it or not.  In our pride, in our arrogance, in our fight to control, we don't always readily admit that we're one step from crumbling on any given day, but we are.But by the grace of God...we're still standing.I believe God knew our desperation when He created us.  I see His response to that desperation expressed first in the gift of my salvation, and over and over again in God's second greatest gift to me, people.He uses people to keep our feet anchored.  When we want to run, He uses safe, healthy people to love us, in spite of us, and those relationships help us share, heal our souls, redeem our time, and lead us to lives of integrity as we relinquish control and trust others enough to not only give love and service, but to receive it as well.How have you experienced the power of love?  Who are the people you're grateful for?  Call them, text them, email them, tweet them... Do anything - just make sure you tell them.

God, LA, Life & Love@AshAbercrombie