Thursday, November 30, 2017

Love Finds Its Own Way

A young mother took her incorrigible eight-year-old to a psychiatrist because nothing suited her child; “nothing was right!”

Conversation quickly revealed the depths of the child’s bitterness from hearing her mother’s years of unwanted diatribe. The doctor listened patiently. Before long, he heard the agony of an unwanted child slowly confessing, “Nobody loves me!” 

After listening to her childish complaint; the doctor suggested, “Why, that isn’t true. I love you. I really do like you.”

The child, on hearing the doctor’s kind words of acceptance, quietly approached him and climbed up on his lap. While sitting there with tears streaming down her face, she kissed the old man. Returning home, the rebellious child made up with her mother and became a very different child at school.

Nothing heals like a dose of love. The doctor, by loving a bitter, incorrigible child, modeled a teaching that Jesus left for us. Through his medical practice, the doctor redirected the child’s misdirected focus and broke through her protective shield of enslaving self-centeredness. It is a lesson that I, like some of you, am still trying to more fully wrap myself around.

As Jesus approached the time of his betrayal, he offered one of his most significant commands. We view his statement in the light of his coming death, as we hear his pronouncement: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34 NASV, italics added).

Why are we so quick to condemn one another? Our harsh and unkind words often reveal more about us than the person we judge. What we see so often is something we find deep within, but lack the grace to admit.

During one of those terribly depressing days during America’s Civil War, President Lincoln frequently visited nearby hospitals around the area. On one of those days, a young man visited his wounded brother following a fierce and costly battle. As the young man exited his brother’s room, he accidently bumped headlong into Mr. Lincoln.

Accosting the President without recognition or apology, the hostile, hurting younger brother, filled with his own bitterness, rudely challenged Mr. Lincoln: “Can’t you get out of the way of a young gentleman?”

Without disclosing his identity, the kindly President asked, “Young man, what’s troubling you on the inside?” The President instinctively knew that something was eating at the inside of this young man; otherwise, he would not be so out of sorts with his whole world.

Self-centered living creates behaviors and attitudes that only love can cushion. Counselors and healers find self-centered living most often creating the greatest obstacles for living comfortably with one’s self, thereby making it difficult to relate with others.

People that withdraw inward, tend to wall-off others, except to blame. They do everything they can, except face the real problem--within. A good rule of thumb suggests that when we feel most out of sorts with others, a positive inward look offers the most promise for finding healing and health. Often times when we are the most unhappy, the healthiest (most healing) thing we can do is to stop where we are, step outside of ourselves, and find someone that needs our help.

That, in turn, fulfills one of the most important teachings ever spoken by Jesus--love your neighbor as yourself .. and ... I am Wayne at

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