“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” 1 John 3:18
I am not often at a loss for words, so when I stood next to my son to give a “short” speech before he cut his 16th birthday cake I was expecting the words to flow. I knew what I wanted to say, my carefully crafted speech had been mentally rehearsed over and over for a week and I was ready. I walked up to the front of the room, calm and collected, my moment had come. I just knew that all the beautiful words that I had written would be expressed as eloquently as I had imagined them.
What I soon found out was that I was not as prepared as I thought. Yes, I had written and practiced, but I had not allowed for the fact that while delivering the speech I would be looking into the eyes of all the people who had taken time out of their day to celebrate with us. When I looked up and around the room what I wanted to say seemed no longer as important because no words could adequately describe what I was feeling.
In that brief moment when I began to speak, my words were “stuck in my throat”, and it felt as though time stood still because just for a moment, I saw love in action and it moved me.
I saw the faithfulness of God who proved yet again that He always goes before. Each person was evidence of God’s slow-released timeline of divine intervention. People connected to our family from before I was born up to this day. Family, generational family friends, school friends that have become family and more recent friends who are just as precious to us.
I could see the love of my son and the fulfillment of God’s promise in his life- “Give and it will be given to you …..For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”(Luke 6:38). My son’s love had been poured out and today it had been returned and was overflowing.
I recognised the gathering as a ripple effect of who my son is as he naturally draws people near. He has this amazing ability to show the unconditional love of Jesus even when the world would rather ignore and avoid. He looks past any “quirks” that would make others uncomfortable, works hard to forgive quickly and works hard to rebuild relationships when conflict comes in a way that’s humbling to see.
I remembered the times that the beautiful people in front of us had surrounded, supported and carried us through the valleys as well as celebrated with us on the mountain tops. I felt the comfort of knowing that this would never change.
For one brief powerful moment I saw the intrinsic relationship of love in words, truth and action. I knew in that moment that the only action necessary to convey what I needed to express was for the tears to flow, my imperfect inadequate words to be spoken, for God to be given the glory and for our family and friends to “fill in the blanks”.
Reflect and Respond:
Is there a point in time when you were on the receiving end of love in action? If so, how has that one act made a difference in your life? What things could you do to show love in action to the people around you?
More Verses to Explore:
Romans 5:8; John 13:34-35
References: Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Image: http://www.lovethispic.com/image/59436