February, 2021 – It Could Only be God’s Love

February, 2021 – It Could Only be God’s Love

Generally, every February I dedicate this space to having something to do with ‘love’.  Here in New England, February can also be the ‘flu and storm month’, but given that Valentine’s Day greets us with a note of positivity (for most), I like to write about one of the three major ‘loves’ – briefly, eros, (romantic love) – philia (brotherly love) – agape (pure/God’s love).

However, before I tell you my ‘love’ story with ‘Clara’, I would like to tell you about a couple of other ‘agape/love’ incidents.  First, I had a supervisor years ago in a job who was so very unkind, if not, down-right brutal with those under her.  I began festering such a strong dislike for this woman that it became a real sin-issue in my heart.  Long-story short, God began to convict me that I needed to love this supervisor.  ‘Impossible, I thought’, but having been disobedient to my Creator more than once before and watching it not go well, I knew I had to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and ask for His help.  My prayer to my Heavenly Father was not, ‘help me to love this person’, but rather, on my knees beside my bed, “Lord, please help me tolerate (no names mentioned) this person!”  (I’m keeping it real.)  Long-story-short, I went from disdain for this person (bordering on hate) to ‘falling in love’ with her – agape/love that only could only be Gods love.

Secondly, a teacher from a workplace in a high school where I was a permanent substitute teacher got word, somehow, that I was a Christian (a follower of Christ).  Before long, he began harassing me for my faith.  It was uncomfortable – and it was in front of my students who couldn’t really understand what was going on with this man.  I felt that if I ignored him, eventually he’d stop the harassment.  As it would happen, when I started a course at a nearby college to update my certificate a couple of weeks later, who should walk into the class – late! – and had to sit in the last available seat – which was diagonally across from me?  The harasser.  The next thing I knew, he was tapping me – of all people, me! – on the shoulder asking me if I had an extra pen.  My first thought was, “You have some nerve.”  But I truly felt sorry for him and gave him my only other pen.  That could only be God’s love!

And finally, most recently my replacement feeling from contempt to ‘love’ was for an elderly woman.  Did you ever have anyone who irked you, annoyed you, irritated you every time you were in their presence?  Of course.  We all have.  I was glad to find out along the way at some point that that person – whoever it would be – also, pretty much, irkes, annoys and irritates everyone else.  I didn’t know that for a long time because it seemed that others were so gracious with a chaffing personality that it bordered, even, on loving them.

For me, this person’s irritation had gone on for nearly a couple of years.  It wasn’t that I saw her often, but when I did, the same old feeling would rise once again in me.  Until! – I felt that nagging, gnawing, familiar feeling deep in my spirit that could only be identified as being from the Holy Spirit.  I didn’t even need to ask Him what it concerned.  I knew.  I knew that I needed to love ‘Clara’ (not her real name).  And almost immediately, I ‘melted’ before my Maker feeling this overwhelming sense of love for this woman – so much so that I needed to show her that I loved her!  The next couple of times we should have been in the same place, she wasn’t there and I was beside myself.  I just HAD to show her that I loved her.  I sent her a card that week – nothing ‘mooshie’ – just telling her that I loved her and missed her.

The very next time we were in each other’s presence, she mentioned to the whole group that she would be alone for the upcoming holiday – Christmas! – and if anyone wanted to come visit her, to come-along.  I knew in my heart right that moment where I would be spending at least part of my Christmas Day.  It was a wonderful visit!  She went on and on telling me about her life – and when she stopped a couple of different times to apologize saying that she couldn’t understand why she was telling me all this,  I assured her that it was okay – and as an elderly woman by herself, I knew that she probably didn’t get to see  barely a soul from day to day.  I knew she just needed to talk to someone.  With ‘Clara’, I was taken by surprise by my ‘love’ for her – by God’s love – agape/love.  Only HE could change my heart like that.  By the way, Clara hasn’t changed and that’s okay, but I have!  Once again, it was that purest form of agape/love that could only be God’s love.  God is Love!  (I John 4:8,16)