Love God. Love People.

“Don’t be discouraged Believer by what means God uses your purpose or where.” – Rosemarie

My pulpit can often be a grocery cart with my purse nestled in the child’s seat. I roam the familiar counters where I meet and greet others in the name of the Lord, even when I don’t utter a word. However, some days are more exceptional than others in the marketplace.

I adore the uniqueness of her voice with an infectious laugh. She is always busy in and around the bakery department with a netted silver bun. Recently we made a connection, and so God was faithful to build on that again. She was speaking of dreams and with an open door I spoke into her life. As the conversation progressed she divulged her past, and when the words left her mouth her heart was troubled. Would it make a difference in how I perceived her going forward.  She relayed this to me, and with compassion I shared as long as you don’t see me differently when I stumble or fall. We both smiled, and I could almost hear heaven rejoicing as I uttered, “Oh no, I see you much better now.” It’s better because her vulnerability gave way to mine, all the while being Jesus in the grocery store with grace and truth. It was a win-win as time stood still to love thy neighbor with two fresh wheat rolls in my hand!

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40Amplified Bible (AMP)

She waits on me at the deli counter, and on occasion we share more than the usual exchange of deli meats and weights. This week I wanted to bless her grandson with a gently used scooter that was my daughter’s once favorite. It was gathering dust in the garage as I waited patiently to send it off to a good home with a child who would enjoy it. Goodwill drop-offs are great; however, this kind of giving makes room for a personal connection and the building of perhaps something greater. We never know how an Act of Kindness is received beyond meeting a need or blessing others. Love God. Love People. There’s no getting around that—one flows into the other. If we’re in love with God we are susceptible to love people.

As I waited patiently for the deli lady in my car with Christian tunes on the radio I was observing a couple near retirement age. It was a sweet coming together -- her after a grocery run and he from the neighboring dentist. They exchanged on what seemed to be an update on his visit as he motioned towards his mouth with hand gestures. As they continued, I said aloud to myself, “I just want to draw a heart around them.” In hindsight, if only I would have taken a picture, but then again it would have distracted me from the moment. She was intently listening until he had finished. Then it was her turn, and he listened well too. I gazed with wonderment, “This is what loves looks like!” Being who I am I couldn’t keep that to myself. I quickly rolled down my window, “You two are just darling. How long have you been married?” She was quick to answer, “38 years,” while I sensed he was more cautious at the strange woman admiring them. I get it. The world is getting weirder by the minute, and so innocent mentions can be reluctantly received. Even so, I blessed her as she walked away hand-in-hand with her husband.

For those of you who are in a difficult place in your relationship, or not quite satisfied with the level of lavishing you receive on Valentine’s Day, holidays, anniversaries, or even on ordinary days, I want you to be encouraged. Movies, television or romance books are fantasy. They offer some likeness to our reality, but very small considering the tainted truth portrayed, which can easily become an expectation. Stop comparing your love relationship with fantasy and read the Word. What does it say? How is love exchanged and received there? How does love respond even without flowers or diamond rings?

Believer, don’t get caught up in the hype of what is in cinema and literature. Be content, and ask God to give you a desire to want what you already have. It is possible. All things are possible! For He who is the Giver of Life can restore and rebuild old ruins to palaces of luxury within our hearts.  Give that ol’ devil notice! Love God. Love People.

Giving God all the glory for working through me in power with demonstration of love!
© Cup of Goodness. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.