Love Lifted Me

Sunday’s Lenten devotional was titled “Love Lifted Me.” It was written by a member of our National Staff, Marchae Grair. She described falling in love for the first time and not having to do all the heavy lifting in the relationship. In fact, she wrote, the love she felt this time lifted her.

That reminded her of how her childhood pastor used to sing the hymn “Love Lifted Me” before the sermon. She noted that the “L” in the word love was capitalized throughout the Hymn – suggesting that the Love that lifted was God.

That’s just beautiful. As John writes in his first letter, God is Love. And as the Hymn suggests, love lifts us up.

Let’s think about that for a minute or two. When, where, how, and with whom do you feel real love; a love that lifts you up, raises your spirits, calms your fears, or brightens your mood?

I feel it when I’m held by the woman I married almost 33 years ago.

I feel it when any of my three children call me just to talk.

I feel it when my grandchild smiles at me and throws his arms up in the air to be held.

I feel it when the soft breeze from a light wind brushes my cheeks on a warm spring morning walking through the city or down a country path.

I feel it when the stranger smiles up at me and wishes me a good morning.

I feel it when a friend on Facebook posts a story about a memory we shared from a long time ago.

I felt it standing around the bedside of my dying father, Mom gently stroking his feet and telling him its time to go while 31 of his children, grandchildren, and close friends stood by him signing and praying him to his eternal rest.

I feel it when I’m standing in the sanctuary of some ancient church and the gathered fill the air with glorious song, offering their praise to the Maker of heaven and Earth.

I feel it when, at the end of a long day of exhausting work, an email comes in and says “Thank you for all that you do.”

I felt it when my future son-in-law asked permission to marry my daughter; and saw the delight on his face when I told him how proud I was of him and happy he made my daughter.

Life can be hard. We face challenges every day, and many of them can knock us off balance and have us scrambling to maintain our sanity and our health. Love lifts us up.

In the experiences of love, we come to know intimately whom God chooses to be and how it is God chooses to be known. John got it right when he wrote boldly and declaratively God is love.

Take a moment this day to rehearse those moments when love lifts you up.

Be thankful for those who express it to you, whether through word or deed.

And know that every such encounter brings you closer to the sacred among us; and invites you the opt for love over hate, over anger, over fear as we travel together Into the Mystic.