I asked my Lord a while back to give me His love for humanity.
My pastor preached a sermon I did not like. It made me angry. I told everyone who would listen why it bothered me -- except him.
I had to play bass guitar on the worship team with a man who insulted my dad in the past. I realized I'd never forgiven him -- and still didn't want to.
Several friends wanted to chat on the internet one night. I was tired and busy and became annoyed -- but did it grudgingly.
Everyone I knew, it seemed, started posting "25 random things" about themselves on Facebook. I did it too -- to get everyone to stop bugging me to write a list.
I slid into one of my funks. I felt alone. I felt stuck. I felt the emotions -- the sense of rejection, the confusion, the sadness -- were silly. But they were real.
I asked my Lord to give me His love.
My pastor told me how much he appreciated me, my faithful attendance at church, my sweet spirit. Later I saw him having lunch with a young man, who was pierced and dressed in black, who didn't look like he should be eating lunch with a pastor. I saw a man who loves God and who loves people.
At the movie theater, I ran into the man who once insulted my dad. I saw him loving his wife, loving his children, loving life. I saw a man who did not deserve my grudge.
Several friends texted and Facebooked and called to say, "Hello," "I miss you," "Let's hang out," "I love you." I was tired and busy -- but grateful for their care. I tried to tell them I love them too.
Everyone I knew, it seemed, had posted "25 random things" about themselves on Facebook. I read them all again -- surprised by the honest expressions of disappointment, fear, regret, hope and passion in each list.
Inside my emotional funk, their emotions spoke to me. Stuck in the depths of myself, I was able to see the depth of humanity.
It was beautiful.
I realized I was watching God form the complexity of each person -- the weave of each one's experiences and emotions, failures and victories -- into a work of art, a creation fearfully and wonderfully made, created to do good works, created to love and be loved.
I thanked God for answering my prayers -- to know His love and to love His creation -- and prayed He would answer again tomorrow and the next day and every day hence until we are all made complete in His presence.