As I step deeper into Love and let it transform me I have become aware that I see things differently, read things differently because this Love is different and is giving me a new lens to look at life. I’m reading through the gospel of Luke right now and came to a place where Jesus is teaching his disciples what Love looks like. He tells them (and us) that Love loves their enemies, that when someone strikes your cheek, you offer them the other cheek in return. Love is helping me to understand this differently.
My oldest son gives into the fruit of the flesh with bursts of anger and rage from time to time. He might have partaken of this fruit through generational sin, maybe. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But the good news is, some new fruit is growing on my tree, the kind from the Spirit that is uprooting this generational sin. One day during one of his outbursts instead of offering anger back I let Love step in and it felt like I was absorbing that anger, not feeding off of it like before, and then I was able to offer my other cheek to my son that came in the form of open arms ready for an embrace. I encouraged him to let it out, that I could take it, Love could take it and when he was done we hugged in a deep hold.
Now my son is certainly not my enemy, far from it, but I think God is giving me an easy start into this whole love your enemies sort of thing. It was easier to offer love back to my son’s anger because of the relationship we already have established. I can see how practicing in this kind of Love will help when the real enemies come my way.
I also saw in a very tangible way how God’s love absorbs our anger that we throw at Him every day while like the Prodigal Father, He stands there with open arms ready to embrace us. In the passage of Luke, I was referring to earlier at the end of this section Jesus states that if we are able to love our enemies, (and do good and lend without expecting a thing in return) our reward will be great because we will truly be children of God. Jesus says we must be merciful, just as our father is merciful (Luke 6:36). I think this is because we first let Love transform us so that we become Love itself.
The only way this Love will transform us is if we spend time together, in new ways, in real ways, in quiet, be still kind of ways. I’m asking more and more every day what it means that God is Love, so that I might be a Love incarnate that can offer my other cheek. How will you spend time with Love today?