Saturday, August 22, 2009

Being Filled.... Loving Well

You will all be pleased to know that I have been truly blessed by the first night of fellowship with some women from my church. We have begun Beth Moore's "Loving Well" retreat in a box, and I have left with joy and enthusiasm.

On my mile drive to the church, I considered topics for today's blog. The only thing that came to mind was the most unusual phone call I got that afternoon...."Uhm... someone thinks my neighbor might be dead in his house.... will you come with me to check?" My answer "of course!" (one of the hazards of being a medical professional). Fortunately, he was very much alive. However, suffice it to say that in the 20 minutes between her request and our assessment, God and I had quite a dialog. I prayed for clarity...and we expressed much gratitude when the task was complete! Thank you, God for life and small favors!

But, no... God has spared you my thoughts and fears with that one, by providing a wonderful evening.

I was invited to be part of the "spa" experience by bringing my massage chair. People seldom realize that I receive much in giving massage. I feel honored to be allowed to participate - to touch - and enjoy being present with people as I work. It is a gift to me, and as always, I leave feeling better than when I arrived.

As they sat in my chair, Beth Moore was before me on the big screen. She was talking about Loving Well - of course - and the people that come into our lives that we will be challenged to love... only some of which will be a Joy. (If you don't know, or don't remember, the title of the study itself assured me that God would speak to me through it, based on experience with similar words.)

She said many things that I needed to hear, that pierced my heart or made me say "oh yeah...!" (or "oh boy!") The 0ne thing that she said that really resonated with me was this:

"In order to love well, we must be well loved"

We can't give what we don't have. If we have bandaged or blockaded our hearts in order to protect them from worldly hurts, we often also prevent ourselves from truly experiencing God's unconditional love for us.

She encouraged each of us to allow God to fill us up. Not only by making and taking time to be with Him and allowing HIM to heal and protect our hearts, but also by not discounting or rejecting His love because of our shame, guilt or pride.

Sometimes it feels selfish - or lazy - to just sit and be with Him. There is so much else in the world that needs doing. Some of it is REALLY GOOD stuff. Some of it is busy-work. Either way, it reminds me of Mary and Martha.

I want to sit, like Mary, at His feet, quietly in His presence, not busily caught up in the list of "must do"s. I want to savor His presence, not become resentful of my sister who does.

For it is there that I will be healed, filled, restored. There I will find peace. There I will experience the love that has been so graciously extended to me.... even when I'm "testy".

There I will learn to love well, as I experience what it means to be well loved.


Carolyn said...

You are totally a "Joy"! xoxo

Carolyn said...

You are a total "Joy"!

Katie said...

I totally agree with Caroly - you are in my JOY chair, too!