What Is Love In A World Full Of Fakes?

She regresses. This child in our home who has become the battleground of her parents. She throws her coat, bites, and hits the ones this two-year-old has chosen to give her full trust to…

As if cutting skin, and projecting pain can somehow alleviate the hurt within.

imageHe sits in our church meeting. A stranger, riding his bike thirty miles looking for a group of believers to belong to.

This homeless one, tempted by the donuts, fellowship, and gathering.  This longing one with no sin in his eyes, yet a victim of society.

Too many walk past, as if he doesn’t exist.

And in a world of love coming in the form of fake bonds, conditional responses, temptations of food, and free services; we can loose the type of love that costs everything, the going-to-the-cross kind of love, that takes pain and gives back it’s full reward.

I hear of this mother, running out of rope.

She offers us her kids, longing to be pulled up from the hand of cards she has been dealt with. Life is hard.

Yet, in my wildest of dreams, I can’t imagine any parent abandoning those she loves.

Yet, love wants mercy, goodness instead of suffering, and what if one happens to find it in the walls of someone else, besides us?

But who am I?

The one who had my redemption bought by some nails and scares, by a man who did nothing, yet bought me with His life.

I, such a saturated sinner saved alone by grace.

And isn’t perfect love dying; dying to ourselves, our own wills, our own temptations, so another can be free, and pain, doesn’t need to linger any longer in the hearts of those we love?

Still, when did society make love about getting, instead of giving? Earning or repaying, desires or deserving?

When did the life get sucked out of true worship, the kind requiring bending low, loving unseen for the sake of lifting others up?

And I want to “get” what love is, really.

Understand what makes one mom want to rip away a child into a home that has no skills, into an atmosphere where there has been CPS cases and imprisonment…

While another lays in surrender, and gives what she conscious says she cannot keep?

What makes one greedy, while another offer what she loves more than anything in this Universe; as a gift, a sacrament surrendered for the sake of love.

And oh friends…

Should we not be teaching; love is offering food to the hungry, opening our homes to the needy, giving our lives for the sake of saturating our sins with selflessness so grace can reign and love can smother the pain of those who have eyes but yet fail to see?

Still, Lord forgive me…

For hoarding, and hiding, and bottling up my life like I can carry it around like the woman with the Alabaster box…

When all things precious were meant to be poured wildly at His feet.

And when did we refrain from tears, from letting down our hair…

And become the Pharisees judging instead of being the one, humbly breaking all we are and sacrificing, for the God-man who came without sin?

The one who came without blame, and rose again so our life could be lived without stain or the punishment we deserve?

I go to meet her. The tired one. The mother who is willing to sacrifice what she loves because she has acknowledgedfile8171307480289 love means giving those more precious, the better things; like a home and shelter, and protection, and schooling.

Yet, too often our gifts become destroyed when we hold them too closely to our chest, when we fight the system because what we want somehow seems to hold precedence over what is best for others.

And so, I pray right now, for the twisted deception that says, robbing and stealing, borrowing what is not ours and keeping too tightly of reigns will someone bring freedom and acceptance.

I claim the truth that true deliverance and grace and love can only be found in The One who gave everything…and yet, even after suffering, He is found contending and interceding in heaven for you and me…

So, as we seek love…

Might we realize the offering is the gifting.

The power of love is found in the trusting The One who knows we are but dust and He alone is the center to all good things.

And might we choose to see…

Love is where He is…

In the homeless man begging for fellowship, the letting go, the one sacrificing for the sake of what’s the higher choice for those she would do anything for.

Yes, I think it’s time we stop putting love into a box content; when love is messy and helpless, vulnerable and barren, unresistant to change and progress, grace and mercies, often resembling suffering to carnal eyes.

I see Him on a cross, looking at me with beckoning eyes. “Will you follow me where I lead?  Will you trust me?” as I open wide my mind and let the Giver of Life make me who He says I am.

“Will you lay down your life, taking up your cross in order to live again?”

And I remember the resurrection, how all good things grow from the seed fallen, the one nestled in the ground, waiting for Spring to come upon their souls.

“Won’t you be that seed?” He whispers, “more”.

DSCN5373And I know, unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it will never produce anything.

So, I seek fruit, and service, and faithfulness, and obedience…

But most of all, I seek love. Because without love we are all just clanging symbols, posing to be Holy, pretending to play church, performing for the title of, “Good Christian”….

Yet, even the homeless know when they are hungry. Even the sinner can see light and be drawn to goodness. Isn’t it time we seek all good gifts in Him, not in the things of this life that will soon pass away?

I bow my head, and remember His pain, praising Him at the glory on the other side of hurting…

And it’s getting late.

We must love. Love now. Love unquestionably. Love completely.

For when He comes, it says they won’t know us by our church attendance, our nice suits, or our understanding of the scriptures…

It says, they will know us by our love.

How can each of us love more completely, more fully, breaking the alabaster of all we are, daily at the feet of Jesus?

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Jen Avellaneda

Jen is an adoptive, foster, & bio mom to trans-racial family. You can find her writing, overlooking her property, advocating for the orphan domestically and internationally, & making memories with her husband of 24 yrs.
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7 Comments

  1. I, too, must bow my head and pray. I must open my heart and know that He leads me where He wants me to go. I become afraid yet He gently calls and holds my heart.
    Can I? Will I? Only because He is in me and did so much for me. Thanks, Jen for such a beautiful offering of hope and love this evening. I am humbled by your open and honest words.
    ~ linda recently posted…Sovereign God ReignsMy Profile

  2. They will know you are a christian by your love Jen..no doubt about that.

    Your beautiful heart towards these hurting lost children and their tired mama is a tribute to the power of the Living God dwelling richly in you.

    May His will be done concerning these 2, and may they become rooted and grounded in His love.

    Love you and your beautuful mothering heart., xxxx

  3. Jen, this is both beautiful & convicting. May we bow low before our God & those around us. So grateful for this> “And in a world of love coming in the form of fake bonds, conditional responses, temptations of food, and free services; we can loose the type of love that costs everything, the going-to-the-cross kind of love, that takes pain and gives back it’s full reward.” May He help me to love like Him. Blessings!
    Joanne Viola recently posted…Day 13: How Long?My Profile

  4. Wow, Jen! Powerful and beautiful message you’ve shared here!

    “Still, Lord forgive me… For hoarding, and hiding, and bottling up my life like I can carry it around like the woman with the Alabaster box…When all things precious were meant to be poured wildly at His feet.” <— Your words here grabbed ahold of my heart.

    Thank you for sharing this! So blessed to visit and link-up with you today! Peace and many blessings to you, Love! :-)

  5. What beautiful, rich words, reaching deep into the heart of our Christianity and pulling out it’s gem–love — loving like Jesus. I love being reminded that Christianity is not in a box with a neatly tied bow. So well-written with such heart. Thank you!

  6. Jen, this is heart-searing. You write :”the type of love that costs everything, the going-to-the-cross kind of love, that takes pain and gives back it’s full reward” – praying that God show me how to show that kind of love in our community – and that it change lives in a way that wasn’t designed to be radical – but normal.