Love is All Around
March 10, 2021 by Amy Byrd

Who is your walk around? The person you would avoid, because there is nothing mutually beneficial there...

Most of our customers, most of all people we hang around —-it’s a highly transactional thing. What benefits me? How can I connect with you in a way that benefits me?

But I love what CS Lewis says “love is never wasted – for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.” What is that? Reciprocity. The exchange of things that are mutually beneficial.

I grew up in a small town. When we ever went to the “big city” I knew to steer clear of the homeless person asking for a handout. Because they likely did something to get themselves there—they chose that life, didn’t they?  They’re dangerous. Nasty. Reek of alcohol and urine. I may catch something from them if I get too close. But God grew me—closer to Him and understanding His purpose for me and my family.

For two years, our family of five, along with Wallace the Dog and two bunnies, lived in an RV in a community for the formally homeless. I thought we were there so we could give love to those that needed it. But the reason to give love is really for us. When I give love, my heart is transformed. And it is only in the giving of it —is where hearts can be changed.

When I give love, my heart is transformed.

Meet Emily. The first time I ever saw Emily was at an intersection in the city where I lived. Gently tugging to pull her oversized pants up a bit higher then, gently tucking her white hair behind her ear and holding a sign asking for anything you can spare. Her gentleness in her face is what really caught my eye. God used her that day. We began a relationship. Eventually, we became neighbors. On Sundays, she would come to church with my family, on special occasions we would all go out to eat together and on her wedding day we all celebrated together.

Who can you give love to that can do nothing for you in return? That is how our hearts are transformed. Rick Warren “You have to choose to value what God values if you want to be his friend.” God values people.

Emily once said to me, “I need to apologize to you ...I thought you were like all the others.” I thought to myself ... I am just like all the others. But God will help me —I want to be transformed.

The tension between conviction and compassion. God changed my heart when I began to value what he valued.

Love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31 Love is more than a feeling. Love is more than a card. Love is more than a thought. Love is more than a word. Love is action. For our city. For our nation.

For our world ❤