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Common Grace Diaspora
From 1998 to 2008, CGM

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Have you ever been so hungry that you ate so fast you never even really tasted what you were eating?

I love people.

Weird segue I know, but hang in there and maybe it will make sense.

I love how people get excited and flap their hands so hard they knock their drink over then turn a bright shade of red as they try to scoop up an ocean of soda with the tiniest bit of napkin.

I love how a girl will move the same piece of hair out of her face thirty times before she digs in her gigantic purse to find a clip, but instead finds her new tube of drama queen chap stick, smoothes it on her lips and goes back to moving the hair out of her face at least thirty more times before she remembers she needs a clip.

I love people who scream way too loud at football games. I love people who play soccer even when they’re “old.” I love songwriter’s who make me laugh. I love visual artists who use junk. I love people who cook fried foods and eat them! I love the cadence of certain people’s prayers and I treasure up the sounds of their voices in my heart. I love people a bit on the crazy side and I seem to attract some of the most broken. And if I talk to you for over, oh, say . . . ten seconds, you are my friend. Period. Which means I must love you.

There is nothing wrong with loving people, but the way I loved in the past was a bit wonky. People didn’t go into my heart the right way and I developed a strange sense of responsibility. I was responsible for everyone and everyone had the same level of priority.

For many years, I ran around crazy-eyed, stuffing people, with all their glorious intricacies and destructive tendencies into my heart. A friend said maybe I was starved.

That maybe my co-dependent cycle of spinning, self-sabotage was the result of pouring out what had never been given to me . . . stability, sanity, love. That the whole time I thought I was loving by “helping, rescuing, fixing” was just an attempt to be . . . loved¾truly.

When I finally hit a wall and the spinning stopped, I could barely move. I didn’t know how to go about in the world, what my motives were, what love really meant. I stopped using the L-word for a while. I didn’t trust it.

But I was still surrounded by people. My friends and family made sure of that. SO, what was I to do?

My friend Judy who loves to be around people once opened and closed her hands like the claw in that pizzeria vending machine game while saying “people, people, people.” She was hungry for them.

And I knew exactly what she meant. Only, it seemed to me, she new how to nourish people and be nourished by people, while I had just been on a hard-core binge.

But I couldn’t stop loving people just because I was doing it wrong. I just had to scrap about nine-tenths of the ideas I had about love and start from a sorta scratch, continuously reminding myself that God loves me, even if people don’t.

So now, I am in be still training. Not tame, but still. When I’m still I can listen to God and He teaches me. One of the things He is teaching me is that his treasures are meant to for me to receive as a blessing, not for my indulgence.

That any blessing He bestows on me, is just that, a blessing, not to be devoured hungrily in place of His love, but to be enjoyed as a result of His love.

Oh, the love of Jesus.

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