I’ve been contemplating coming back to this space for quite sometime now but after being away so long honestly I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to come back, if I even had the right words to come back. To be honest, I have so many stories tucked deep in my heart that I know I need to share with the world, but sometimes it feels like they might be less personal or special if I share them with the world. Sometimes that feels selfish and sometimes that feels real.
But here I am sitting in a 24 hr. Dunkin Donuts waiting for a homeless women named Ellie I met earlier in the movie theater parking lot, come back from a bus ride because she was cold. I’m sitting here thinking about what the most beautiful kind of love is, it’s the messy kind. The kind we don’t ask for. The kind that includes holding the dirty, cold hands of a homeless women in a movie theater parking lot, listening to her tell you her story and then inviting you to join her at the church she attends on Sunday mornings and her telling you not to hug her because she’s dirty and smelly and you telling her that it doesn’t matter and you pull her into the tightest embrace and don’t let go for a few (maybe awkward) moments.
The messy kind of love is the kind of love where you invite a kid that that tells you know one believes they are a good kid into your home, because you believe he is a good kid, and a few days later that kid comes out to help you clean up in front of the church and asks for nothing in return. The same kid comes back a few weeks later and tells you that he had the best Christmas ever because we gave him a new blanket and a remote control helicopter, some cologne and a $5 McDonald’s in a stocking at our Christmas party last week. This kind of love breaks your heart and brings you tears of happiness all at once.
The messy kind of love is loving a kid in their best and worst moments, when they love and hate you. When they try to convince other kids that you’re brainwashing them, when they ignore you on the corner because they know you don’t agree with what they are doing but you still open the door when they know later because they are hungry. The messy kind of love mean dropping everything to drive them to see their Probation Officer when you really don’t want too, and then double checking to make sure they are “clean” before they walk through the door.
If you want to know a secret, I didn’t ask to experience this kind of love and some days the broken, selfish, sinful side of me wishes I could just walk away from it all. Somedays this messy love is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced and I want to yell and I want to be done with it. I want to pretend that I don’t love anymore because it’s just too hard, it’s too emotional and it’s too draining. The reality is in the midst of it all it kind of makes me want to love harder, it reminds me of my own sin nature and all the people who have and do love me when it’s messy and hard (and TRUST me it’s MESSY and HARD sometimes).
But in these moments I am reminded of the messiest love there ever was. The kind of love the caused a Father to send His ONE and ONLY Son to the cross for my sinful messy life. It reminds of of John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him,” (John 3:16-17 ESV). I am reminded of a love that happened for you and I so that we could be a part of this big messy beautiful world. I am reminded of the steadfast never failing love of a God who loves me in all of my messy, despite my attitude towards Him, despite my dirty, despite what the rest of the world might deem me. I am reminded of the God in Romans 5:8 that sent His Son for me despite the fact I was born a sinner and remained a sinner for many years to come, that despite my messy life, He sacrificed for me, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8, ESV).
Tonight as I patiently wait for Ellie to return so that I can give her a blanket, some toiletries, a bible and a reminder that despite what she thinks is dirty and messy, I think is beautiful and 100% worthy of a hug and a reminder that she is not forgotten in the middle of her storm. I want to reminder her that despite her mess, God wants to write a story with her life, the God desires complete restoration for her and her children who she is separated from right now, that He intends for her to walk out of the other side of this storm in Freedom, Victory, Redemption and Grace. That every second of her mess is one more step into her restoration story.
Tonight I challenge you to find the most beautiful kind of love in the messiest of places. I challenge you to invite that hard person into your life, I challenge you to be reminded of the messiest kind of love that happened for you on a cross some 2000 years ago so that you could find the beauty in your own mess and the mess of those around you. I challenge you to be reminded that even in your messiest of messes there is a God who finds the beauty in your mess and loves you beyond your wildest imagination. Who will you love today that’s hard and messy?
Share this Post