I truly enjoy stories where a celebrity or someone important does something special for an individual. It is heartwarming when someone like Taylor Swift goes and visits a child in the hospital, or an elected official honors a family of a fallen soldier, or a Tom Hanks photo bombing a wedding and encourages a young couple. It’s the individual attention of expressing love to one person that really impresses me. Sure, many of these high profile people like Bono, Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet, and other use their wealth to do incredible, world-impacting, life-enhancing things. Yet, a story of love expressed to one individual is both encouraging. Inspiring and attainable.
I was a recipient of some individual encouragement and love from someone famous awhile back. In my regular study of influential people, I was doing a bit of reading about and by Mother Teresa. I was impressed by her devotion to God and her calling to serve the poorest of the poor. At that time I was taking a group of students to a poor area of New York and I wrote her expressing my appreciation, letting her know what we were doing, and enclosed a small donation. I did not think much of it, but a few weeks later I received a letter from out of the country and it was a note from Mother Teresa, written on a scrap piece of paper, from an old typewriter, and hand signed. I was blown away! Why would this world-renowned leader take the time to bless the likes of me? I was greatly encouraged, but also inspired to express love individually.
I was also moved by what she said in that note, “God has created us out of love, to love and to be loved. Let us spend our lives loving others as God loves each of us.” God has loved us individually and still does. We are handcrafted by Him
Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.1 Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
God even knows the number of hairs on our head according to Matthew 10:30 (even if they are few).
Jesus washing the disciples feet, as John 13 records and shows Jesus’ individual love through the humbling task of the lowliest servant.
John 13:34-35 34 A new commandment I (Jesus) give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
As we are loved by the Lord, we are to love like Jesus, to love one, to love – one person at a time.
Sure, this can seem a bit overwhelming as we are not sure who and when or what actions to take. As well, if we are shyer this can seem like a huge ask. But think how wonderful it is when you are given some individual attention, where someone blessed you with some kind, gracious, individual loving affirmation. You could really bless someone!
So here is a challenge, look for an opportunity to love one, to love someone individually. Pick a person and write an encouraging note, give a small gift card. If you live close by take in their trash cans, share fruit from your fruit trees, or at least learn their names. If you know them and have some relationship with them bake them some cookies, take them to lunch, complement them, look them in the eye and affirm a quality you see in them. They will be blessed and so will you.
Church can be one of those gathering places where find someone to love, but also to be encouraged on how to love like Jesus. If you do not already have a church you regularly attend, please feel invited to our church. Our website has information about our various campuses and online sermons: www.cypresschurch.net . We would be blessed to connect with you.
Seeking to love one along with you,