“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
I felt something inside me give way as I stood in the half-empty parking lot. My pride, judgement and fear seemed to fall away with each step toward the friend standing on the other side. I’d been asking the Lord to help me love without prejudice. He answered me while I was standing on the pavement, sweating in the July heat. Perhaps for the first time, I could see the person standing before me rightly. “In Christ.” I was in Christ. He was in Christ. I didn’t need to know anything else. We shared the only bond that matters: we’re both co-heirs in grace.
Love – the desire for ultimate good, the willful choice to act for good, and the affection that longs to see another blessed beyond imagining – for my brother filled me. I willed myself not to cry. How would I explain my tears? It’s a little strange (even for me!) to greet someone with, “I’m fine. I’m crying because you belong to Jesus and I think it’s wonderful.”
Have you ever looked at someone and been overwhelmed by joy from knowing that they’ll worship Jesus with you in eternity? It’s my new favorite thing. All too often my love for others is a dutiful response. I know that I should love, so I choose to. I know that this is a good thing but it’s not enough. What I’m learning to give is something else entirely, a gut-level reaction that is both incredibly tender and impossibly fierce. I’m really at a loss to describe it. I only know that in recent days I’m learning to love with a love more complete.
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” 1 Peter 1:22