Thursday, July 16, 2015

love on its knees

A blank page before me. Swirling thoughts but little clarity. That's where I'm living right now, staying quiet while God works on me.

But today I'm thinking mostly about the idea of “Love on its Knees.” What that means, what it looks like, what it feels like tastes like smells like.

Sometimes love brings you to your knees.

Sometimes you have to get on your knees to show love. Words rarely get me on my knees, not in the way people need to receive it. “Sometimes even a simple act of humble service can help confirm the truth of what we say.” (Phil Ryken, Loving the Way Jesus Loves)

Jesus, washing his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. Completely humbling himself to do the work of a slave.  If we are followers of this foot-washing Savior, then nothing should be beneath us.

Mary, overcome with emotion, washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. Spending what was probably the most valuable thing she owned, on her knees before her Savior.



Humility is required. In fact a HUMBLING is required. I’m learning that being humble and being humbled are not the same thing. BEING humble, well that I can manufacture all on my own and to be honest sometimes my motivations are all messed up even when I think my intentions are good.

But being humbleD? This is God’s mercy and grace, reminding me who I am to Him, and who he is, and where I should be looking for true humility. It doesn’t send a message of shame or guilt – if that’s what I’m hearing chances are it’s my inner critic talking to me. When I am humbled by God, I go to my knees not just in confession but in gratitude. And a willingness to start over, try it again, put myself out there without expecting any.thing. in return. No recognition. No affirmation. No pats on the back. Being in a humbled state does not require these things in exchange for service.

Working behind the scenes. Walking beside someone quietly, without judging or trying to fix them. Mowing the neighbor’s lawn. Spending the night at the hospital when no one else wants to. Doing laundry so your husband always has clean work pants. Watching grandchildren so a tired mama can take a nap or run errands alone.



Do you see? None of these actions require our words. Or admiration or praise. They happen in the silence of a grateful humbling, in the knowledge that we are doing our best to follow in footsteps too big for human feet.

“At the source of all Christian service,” writes Donald English, “is the crucified and risen Lord who died to liberate us into such service.”

Digest that for a minute. We are liberated into service? Wait. A synonym for service, as used often in Scripture, is slavery. What about how He died to set me free? We are freed to be slaves??

YES.

Because let’s face it. We’re all slaves to something. In my life BC (before Christ) I was a slave to all manner of sinfulness, even though I didn’t see it that way. Only in the looking back can I see that I was really just a broken down sinner living as a slave to my choices.

Romans 8:16 says this:

“Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone [or something] as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one [or the thing] you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience, resulting in righteousness?”

And then the whammy, in v. 18:

“… having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

But do you see that this is really NOT a whammy? Not God playing whack-a-mole with us, waiting for our next sin. We are freed from that sort of judgment. But not just freed FROM something, we are freed TO something. Something better. Righteousness.

That deserves some gratitude, right there. And not just a “lip-service” kind of gratitude, but an active response kind.

Love on its knees. We are liberated to serve. What say we watch for ways to get down in the mud, on our knees, and love our neighbors so completely that they recognize Jesus.

On my knees,
Angie


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