My husband and I have had the honor and pleasure of knowing Bob and his wife for several years. He is the Board Chairman for Vets With a Mission and we have served with them on mission trips to VietNam. Like my husband, he is a veteran of that conflict. He has been a pastor as well. These are some words he shared in social media recently.
” Often people come to me searching for something deeper than a 500 character religious platitude, something stronger than a scripture icon or soundbyte. Like them, I need something I can touch, see and feel. What we need is love because only love can satisfy us. When this need happens for me, I never want to have to walk away empty handed or when it is my turn to be the giver of this love, God help me to never give them a substitute.
We all believe in love, but often we love the idea of love, when it needs to be our job description. God declares Himself to be “Love” and He is, but it doesn’t always run in the family. Far too often, our lives become a poor substitute for the Jesus that the world is looking to see.
If I lose my focus, I may give a poor substitute for this kind of love. We might give our religious form, our knowledge of God or worst yet, my version of what is right (oh, how I love to be right). We can dish out our political views, judgments and contempt, even silence. We all understand and can relate to this from personal experience…and we know how much it sucks. As someone who has received this love from my heavenly Father, I should always err on the side of loving people.
The mistake we should never make, is to be generous with judgment and stingy with love. The people around us are starving for love and we need to unlock our pantry and see to it that everybody gets a belly full.
That doesn’t mean you always tell them what they want to hear and that they are not accountable. Whenever I find myself in this tension with people, or if you do, always do your best to fill that gap with compassion, kindness and decency. When you need love nothing else will work. My job is to love others, not see to it that others love me. ”