Tag Archive: empathy


ARE YOU LOVED? DO YOU LOVE?

Love God and Man

If you enjoyed this post, the thread is continued in the posts listed below in yellow. They continue the thread. And Please pass this on to those you love.

How do we know we are loved? Truly loved? That is a difficult question to answer. It isn’t difficult because of what we are asking ourselves, but rather, because it is our self that we are asking. The question is straightforward enough. But we can conjure up all kinds of answers, and explanations that lead us down paths that only we can imagine.

Let’s look back to our parents, or friends that we grew up with. Think of people we have hurt and offended. This is where the question will be answered. For you see, true love always forgives. Love does not look at the offense to self, but rather at the person who is struggling, who is doing the offending. We see the love of mom cradling us in her arms, when we have fallen and cut or scraped our knees. We see the sorrowful pain in her silent eyes when we express our anger or discontent and know we have hurt a loving parent. It is our friends that say to us sincerely, “That’s alright I know you didn’t mean it.” They show us love. It is eventually our own failures, our own problems that lead us to the awareness of who loves us.

God’s love is exactly the same way. He has created each of us with a purpose in mind. How many billions of people have not been born into this world, and yet we were. Why us? What is special about us, you and me? We really cannot answer that. We won’t know the answer, nor even understand the question until we meet God face to face. Then we will be shown why we were created and what gifts were given to us. At that point we will know what we could have or should have done in this life, and maybe, even if we will have done it. We really won’t know until that final moment of understanding. We all cringe at the thought that maybe we have run out of time.

But, this writing is not meant to be a scare tactic to awaken us out of our lethargy, nor a shaking of our shoulders to wake up. No. It is truly meant to be a positive moment in our lives. For you see, each of us already knows why we were created. We already know what our purpose in life is. The Bible tells us in Jesus’ words, “For whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me.” There it is: our purpose, our goal, our act of love back to God. He is in each of us. He breathed His Spirit into us, all of us. He knows our problems, our worries, our hurts, dislikes, and unkindness. He knows our thoughts, our sinful thoughts, our demeaning actions, and yet He loves us! He loves us in spite of our selfishness. What manner of God is this? He is waiting for the light to go on inside our heart, not our brain, for it is in our heart where His love resides. When that light does go on, we will understand what is special about us, what talents we have been given. These talents are what we will bring to others… OUT OF LOVE and caring.

For whatever we do to the least, we do to Him! We are to see Him in everyone we pass on the street. Every person who seems to have a health problem, a moral problem, a cleanliness problem, an agonizing problem, an irritating problem…the list is endless. Too often we see the problem and not the person suffering. If we look into the eyes of these people we will see a suffering Christ waiting for a response, maybe it is our response?? How do we know that it is us, that we are the one to do something? We really don’t. But how can we give our love back to God if we do nothing but look away? What are we inclined to do? What, inside us, urges us to act? What would we like to do? It takes courage to be a Christian. We must lose our own inhibitions. Start to look at people, for what they really are, as persons who just might need our talents, as God asking you to return the gift of your talents back to Him.

It is not a grandiose action that is being asked of us. No, it is nothing like that. It is simply a kind act, a loving act, a caring and concerned action. To extend one’s hand to someone in need, in an offering of help, of true concern, of love can lead to all sorts of things. These might be involvement with others, empathy for others, even a deeper love for others. And in this, we give our love back to God. To do nothing is …

Here are some other Posts that blend with this one. Continue the thread:

1) Triggers in Our Lives
2) Why are you, ..you?
3) About Us
4) Our Purpose in Life

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God’s Call of Love

Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald

I was getting ready for the day and I read a sentence about God’s repeatedly calling us. A song flashed in my head from a movie a long time ago. Before I was born, a movie made in 1936, called “Rose Marie” starred Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. In it they sang a duet, entitled, “Indian Love Call”.  The first lines were (following some very long oooooooooooohhh rhyming with you): When I’m calling you, will you answer too? Anyway, this song popped into my head. (Yes, I am that old, to remember it.)

The point is that every day of our lives, without exception, our loving Father in heaven beckons us. He calls us to do His will. (CLICK …… many minds just turned off.) Unfortunately, we think of His will as being something very devout, very religious, and very unnatural. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Every day, His call comes to us. It comes with people, with events, with our surroundings. These are things that we experience… every day. He does not want, nor expect us to put ourselves into seclusion, to shut out all that we see and feel and hear, in the name of religion.

We hear, time and time again, that we should love one another. (Ooops, another … CLICK.)  This doesn’t mean that we are constantly smiling at people, treating them with some plastic glued-on face. It means that we are sharing our life, our experiences, yes, even our failings, if in doing so we can help someone else with their problems. This is the love that we are to have. This is what is meant by God’s will.

You might say, “What do I have, that can benefit anybody?” What do you have? Your life. Your experiences. That is what. This has been said before, that each of us is unique, that each of us has something that no one else has. Yes, we have problems, we have worries and concerns, and we have faults and sins. Some of these we are struggling to overcome, and some seem to be overcoming us. But in that struggle of yours, you ARE learning something about yourself and about the situations. From your perspective of this or that, you are unique. You have something that someone else needs to know. What have you learned? How did this make you feel? How do you think that person in a similar situation feels?
Put these two thoughts together. God is calling us every day in our life and our experiences. And love is being concerned about everyone with whom we come in contact. If we see our struggling selves, know our faults and good points, and realize that God is loving us all the while, then we must recognize that others also are struggling and are loved.

We don’t have to go stand on a soap box at a corner and berate ourselves for who we are, or what we have done. All that God wants for us (His will) is that we recognize the similarities of each person’s struggles. He want us to embrace each other, knowing the hurt and shame that they feel and wishing to alleviate and encourage them, in some way, because we have been there, too. This is God’s call to us, every day of our lives. Can we answer it today, and every day of our lives?

Triggers in Our Lives

Throughout our lives we are faced with making decisions on how to improve things. Every year at tax time, we see our monies in and monies out. We pay close attention to dollars saved and spent. Based on these findings we make certain adjustments. Every six months or yearly we take our car to get inspected and tuned up. At work we are reviewed by our management and suggestions are made to help us advance in the company. The list goes on and on and seems endless. Most of these are triggered by a date or an anniversary of something. In short, we know it is time to do something, to improve something.

What triggers do we use to evaluate our spiritual progress? A retreat? A Holy Day? A death in the family? A marriage? How do we assess our friendship with Jesus? How do we know that our bonds are getting closer to our Savior and Redeemer? This is a difficult situation. On the one hand, we cannot just assume that because days are going by we are getting closer to Him. It might even seem presumptuous of us to think along these lines. On the other hand, we know ourselves and we see all the areas that need improvement. Our struggles seem to pulling us farther away.

Let’s take a look at one area of our lives that is with us always, our perceptions of others. You see someone of another race walking in your direction, what are your first thoughts? The dirty, unwashed beggar, you see at the corner, holding up a card board sign asking you to, “Please help”, what are your first thoughts? The woman in the bank or grocery store, dressed with a veil from head to toe, what first thoughts does she prompt in you? The noisy neighbor, the unruly child, the son or daughter that seems to do just the opposite of what you want, what do they prompt in you? Every person that we see on the street, in the store, in our lives, all of them prompt in us a first thought, our perception of them.

We cannot go to church on Sunday declaring to Jesus how much we love Him and then go out and harbor these first thoughts of others. John chapter 4, verse 20 says it clearly enough for us, “For he that does not love his brother, whom he sees, how can he love God, whom he does not see?” Our first thoughts of others, our perceptions of others, they portray the stereotyped images that we have built up in our lives. These images are holding us back and we may not even realize it.

In each person that we meet in our lives, the suffering Jesus resides. Each person is struggling as we are. They have the same basic concerns that we have. They, too, wish to be loved, wish they were better. They, like us, are trying to figure out the HOW. We must become aware of these perceptions that we have, when they occur, not the day after. Instead of wrapping ourselves tighter for protection, or aloofness, or disdain, try a smile, a kind word, a prayer. Be careful though, of feeling justified if you should do this. They are brought into our lives not so we will feel good, but so we can provide them comfort. We can give Jesus what He needs for that person.

These people are letting us know how we can truly be a Christian. They are if you will, our daily triggers that let us know our progress or stagnancy in following Christ. Around 200 A.D, Tertullian cited, “See how these Christians love one another.” This remark was posed in stark contrast to the hatred and killing that their pagan persecutors were filled with. How well do we love one another? Don’t know? Just wait a minute. Another trigger will pass by shortly.