By Rachel Stewart
“Jesus looked at him and loved him…” Mark 10:21
I have not been able to get this verse out of my head. Rick Warren preached about this verse on Daily Hope in a sermon called, “40 Days of Love, Loving Like Jesus.” He says that the highest form of love is focused attention. When we look at people in the face, eye to eye, we are saying, “You matter to me. You are valuable to me.” If we truly love, we will give people our attention. Love listens…love looks.
Just last week, I was reading something at the kitchen table and Callie was trying to get my attention. I guess I wasn’t responding like she wanted me to, so she crawled up into my lap and wrapped her hands around my face and pulled my face to hers and said, “Mommy, you listen to me. I want to talk to you.” Needless to say, she had my attention. 🙂
Often when Skip tries to talk to me, I’m doing other things, like looking at something on my cell phone or working on school stuff.
Why is it that the people that we are closest to often get pushed to the back burner when it comes to giving them our focused attention?
How often do I take time to really LOOK at others when they are talking to me?
This concept of love has been so convicting for me.
What about other people we come across throughout the day? The people we work with… the cashier at the grocery store? What about those interruptions that we did not expect? Are we showing Christ’s love to others by giving them our focused attention?
My friend Kellie shared a really cool story with me when her family went out to a restaurant for dinner. They had a waitress who had served them a few times before. But this particular night, they could tell she was upset. Kellie and her husband took time to LOOK and LISTEN. They told her that they were there for her if she wanted to talk. That opened the door for her to share with them and before they left, they were even able to invite her to church.
The next day the waitress posted on Facebook how much it meant to her that Kellie’s family had taken time to listen and share with her. She said that even though she had one of the most difficult days at work, she felt like God had sent those customers to her table to remind her how much God loved her.
What a blessing! A blessing that they didn’t miss because they took time to LOOK. They seized an opportunity to show Christ’s love to someone in need.
Jesus is the ultimate example of someone who took time to look and love others. Over and over again in the Bible we see Jesus surrounded by crowds of people, yet he was able to focus in on one person. In “A Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller, he writes,
“When Jesus is with someone, that person is the only person in the room. Jesus slows down and concentrates on one person at a time. This one-person focus is how love works. Love incarnates by slowing down and focusing on just the beloved. We don’t love in general; we love one person at a time.”
So today let’s be on the lookout (BOLO) for people to love, whether they are in our family, a friend, or a complete stranger. We just never know when God might cause someone to strategically cross our paths who have a desperate need for Christ’s love.
Love takes time to LOOK.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.