For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (KJV)
The introductory question in our Connect Group lesson Sunday morning was, “If you knew this was your final chance to speak to someone, what would you say to them.” The question referred to a speech or lecture, but it reminded me of my final conversation with Kara in the hospital before she died. My last words to her were, “I love you, Sweetheart,” and hers to me were “I love you too, Mama.” Other than, “Do you know my Jesus,” which I knew Kara already did, I honestly can’t think of anything more important I could have told her or she could have told me. People need to know we love them. Unfortunately, we don’t always say it enough, or maybe we don’t say it in ways they get the message.
Several years ago, Gary Chapman wrote a book called The Five Love Languages. One of mine is gifts. I was thrilled because I got a couple of belated Christmas gifts Sunday morning from friends I hadn’t seen since before Christmas. I love receiving gifts, especially unexpected ones. I still remember a birthday present a Sunday School teacher gave me when I was little, a box of Whitman’s chocolates. Why would I remember that? Because people seldom remembered my birthday—they remembered it was my mom’s birthday, and one of her kids, but they didn’t remember which one. That Sunday School teacher told me she loved me. Maybe that teacher was one of the reasons I came to love Jesus early in my life—through her, God spoke my love language to me. Jesus loved me. When I thought no one else did, Jesus still loved me. And much more than a box of chocolates, He gave His only Son–to me, for me, to die in my place, so that I could live forever. What a gift He gave!
The sad thing is I’m not nearly the gift giver I used to be. I don’t have a lot of money these days, but that never stopped me in the past. When Kristina was a baby, I stayed up for days hand sewing a doll for her that was bigger than she was. I crocheted gifts, or held Princess House parties and toy parties, or did whatever else I could to earn nice things to give away to my loved ones. I think I slowly learned that few others spoke that love language. They really didn’t care. But God still cares.
The world is in a mess. We need to let people know we love them. We’ve got to tell them God loves them. Somehow. Some way. We’ve got to find a way to reach out to them and speak their love language. With some people, it’s easy. It’s just saying I love you. But I wonder if with these, because it’s so easy, it means far less? I don’t know. To me, love costs something. It cost God so much. It cost His only Son. I lost a daughter, so believe me, I know how much it hurts. It must have broken His Heart like nothing we can imagine.
Lord, help me to find ways to let people know I love them and You love them today. God bless you, my friends