“When I have supped with an old friend of mine,
and find my life they have given away…”
“When I can give without receiving,
Be mistreated but go on believing,
Then I can say that I have loved.”
No one can deny the power of words set to music. I reflect how many times at those critical crossroads in the dark of the night of testing that I can choose “Godliness” or “nastiness” that the words of a song have filled the hallways of my mind shining like a flashlight for my stumbling feet. This song from my childhood was written by our pastor’s wife, Joan Ewing, and recorded by our pastor, Murrell Ewing. The setting of the song was Jesus’s last supper and he knew he would be required to love the one who was betraying him.
While I contemplate, ponder and meditate, on my past journey, the “dark nights of my soul,” when the pain swelled in my spirit like a fog that overwhelmed my mind with its scream of rejection and betrayal, those were the moments I can see now of “learning to love like He loves.”
In those defining seasons of “fellowshipping with his sufferings,” having my “good” misunderstood and judged, that I have had the opportunity to “practice forgiveness.”
Lord, hear my cry today.
Oh, that my heart would be uncontaminated.
Oh, that my hands would be clean, motivated by love.
Oh, that my mouth would be filled with kindness and blessings.
Oh that my motives are pure to see my past through the lens of love
and not fearful mistrust or judgmental condemnation.
Lord, fill my spirit up to overflowing with the oil of intimacy
that opportunity for offense are quickly covered by mercy and grace.
I repent for complaining, self-pity and trying to achieve my own justice.
Let Your opinion of me be the one opinion that really matters.
As you stretch my heart to love,
help me to remember that You still love me
when I make mistakes,
when I am tired and cranky,
when I have lost my way,
when I am just unlovely.
In those moments, when my faith is in the crucible of refinement,
I ask for a Supernatural cloud of Your glory
to lift my eyes to see above the circumstances,
beyond my pain,
through the lies and
know in my mind and heart that You love me
and you are teaching me to love like You love.
#8 in my quest for revelation of The Great Commandment. To read more on pursuing The Great Commandment, go to the next blog in this series, “Jesus is a Good Leader.”