to love each one...

I haven't done a Beth Moore study in quite a while.  I usually just read through and study the Word on my own, sort of like inductive bible study...except not that intense these days!  I usually prefer that because it's exciting to search and discover scripture truths and connections for yourself...but I do love a good study, too....especially in these tiring days where my mind can't seem to think for itself and it's nice to have someone guide me along.  One of the girls I meet with asked if I wanted to do Beth's Siesta Summer Study, so here we go!   The first lesson wasn't very in depth yesterday, just a little "getting started" bit.  

Nevertheless, it was still encouraging meditating on the idea of Jesus having us each in mind as Gentiles that would one day believe in Him.... 

because He did everything He did for me.  He lived here for me.  He prayed for me.  He died for me. He rose again for me.

for you.

I think it's so easy to lose sight of our individuality before Him.  It's easy to forget that we are each His child whom He loves fiercely.

With five little kiddos, it's sometimes hard to really show them my love and thoughts toward them.  I have to be SO intentional to make sure they each know I want to listen to them....that even though my attention is divided sometimes, I still care about hearing every word they want to say {well, mostly! ha}

and while it's challenging sometimes to be pulled in so many directions of so many little people, it's such a  joyful thing, too {when I focus on it} that I get to love on so many little souls all day long.  Sometimes, one hug from one will make me want to hug the next one and so on.  Love is contagious!  and then you're just loving and hugging all day long! Now, we all know that's not reality all the time!! That's amidst the chaos and bickering and wailing of "she did this to me" and "she won't share with me" and me finding myself at my wit's end! Yet, all of those moments are made doable because they are surrounded with love, hugs and kisses and valuing each one!

Anyway, after doing the study, I happened to come across these thoughts I had typed up a while back...so I thought maybe I should share today ...

caring about EVERY ONE...  

I want to look at each person individually. I want to care for EACH ONE. 
{not just each of my children, but each person in life}

These are the traits I see in certain people and love....when they see through the skin and into the soul.

Among the many people like that I've been privileged to know, one stands out to me always....

from Kanakuk Kamps, the way Joe White looks at each person.  Every little kid is just waiting to get a hug from "Joe White!"  It's like every little person is just waiting for their turn to feel special because they had their moment with him.  Well, I, one of the counselors was always like one of those little kids.  There was something about him that loved everyone, and you knew he would love you, too.  So, for a girl coming from broken father relationships, it was a big deal to meet this man, this father-like figure and talk to him and have him want to share some moments with you. 

{side note....Matt knew this and used Joe to get me on a first date with himself. He invited me and some friends to Joe's house for dinner.  Joe knew he was the bait and he was all for it...and I knew what Matt was doing.  I didn't care.  I was all for it, too...of course I was going to see Joe!  and I still remember some very important words he spoke to me! because he had asked about me, listened to who I was and knew the words I needed to hear and cared enough to share them with me.}

I used to be scared to look him in the eyes, because I felt he was truly looking into my soul! It was like I didn't want him seeing all the scary and hidden places in there!

The few years I had to connect with him, he was such a father figure to me because he made me feel like He cared for me.  When he listened to me and spoke to me, it was words he knew I needed and he wanted to make sure I understood them and believed them.  he made me feel loved.

I felt cared for.

Later, however, I began to remember that he really does that with everyone and anyone he has a chance to. Then, I felt a little disappointed. It made me question his genuineness.  It feels like a let-down to realize that "oh they treat everyone that way. I'm not really that special like I thought, like they originally made me feel."

Until I realized...

that's just it.  He CAN treat everyone that same way...because HE MEANS IT. Did I believe the lie that there must be something set apart in me to earn the love and attention of another and that that attention shouldn't be shared with others or else it's meaningless?

Besides just wanting someone to be genuine in their actions toward us, it could also potentially show us that we have a misunderstanding that to be special, we must have to be better or to have something that makes us stand out from the rest, something to truly be cared for....or even just something to earn that attention in the first place.

But, when they feel that way about every single person, it shows us that we are the same...or that specialty in us is the same across the board.  Yes, we are unique and different in countless ways, but the same in God's eyes of how special we are to Him.

We are special because of who we are....God's creation.

and that's ok.  that's good.  it's NOT earned. it's a special standing that's a gift to us.

So, yes, it's a good thing....because I then realized, it's NOT that they just treat everyone the same way, like it's fake or something. 

It's that they just KNOW and BELIEVE that every single one of us is incredibly special….and from God's point of view, everyone deserves that same type of caring, loving, unconditional attention….that shows you are super special.  not better than anyone else.  you don't deserve it any more than the other one.  they deserve it too.   Each one of us deserves an excited hello, a tight hug, a sincere listening ear.  it doesn't negate the genuineness of it, it only shows the individual value.

that is good.  God made us all different, but He cares for each and every one of us in a deep mysterious way. I am special to Him because He made me.  He loves ME.  He cares for ME.

He loves you.

And I so want to be like this to others.  But I have not been.  I have let too much of the world influence my thoughts and how I see others for so long.  Only in recent years have I finally begun to look past what the world expects of us and look into a person to truly love them.  That is such a shame.  

With my gaze fixed on eternity, I want to see others' souls and their eternal conditions.  I want to care for them, love them, and talk to THEM....hear them.

I want God's values of others be what I see, not the worlds or the lack thereof.  My nearsightedness and shallow heart kept me from really loving others for far too long.  

Is there anything keeping your heart at bay as well? :)

we love because God first loved us...1 John 4:19

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