Well friends, it is our last week of Advent (as far as the Christmas season goes.) The final theme of Advent is LOVE. I have been contemplating how absolutely crazy it is to be loved.
Then I think of that song that says, “It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone.”(If this caused you to start snapping your fingers and dancing, I do not apologize.) but I sort of think that line is dumb. Maybe I am not understanding what he is going for, but it seems nuts to me. I mean seriously, it is INSANE to be loved by an.y.one. It is actually mind-blowing.
Here is a silly little example: Every time someone calls me Kal, my heart could just actually burst. I lose it because I feel known and loved. (Nicknames are my love language.) And the idea that I am loved, well, that just amazes me. It happened recently, I was with some friends, and one of them started telling a story to another and said, “Well, Kal…” and I honestly don’t even remember anything else she said because all of a sudden I just got overwhelmed with this idea that woah she considers me friend and knows me and loves me and HOW INCREDIBLY INSANE IS LOVE? People call me friend. People want to spend time with me. That actually blows my mind.
It is actually the most unusual thing to be loved. By anyone.
But we are.
Ann Voskamp in her new book says, “You love as much as you are willing to be inconvenienced. If I won’t be inconvenienced, I can’t know love.”
Giving love is often inconvenient, isn’t it? When a friend is having a crisis at the end of an overwhelming day at work. When you would rather watch Netflix but someone asks to spend time with you. Giving a ride to the airport. Listening well. Responding to the long text. Choosing anyone over yourself – that is love, isn’t it? To love is to be inconvenienced.
The entire Christmas story is about people being inconvenienced in order to birth LOVE into the world. Mary. Joseph. The wise men. The innkeeper. All inconvenienced for the sake of love.
In the world then and in our world now, love is given when we give of ourselves. Love is shown when we hold our pride and desires loosely – to just maybe give everything we have away. Love is the groups of people all over the world right now giving their time, money, and energy to help those in desperate need.
It is no small thing to be loved. It is no small thing to give love.
We cannot be greedy with our love; we cannot hog it because holding onto our own love won’t make us feel loved, it will just make us lonely. Trying to hold onto it as if it will make us full or whole is the worst kind of backwards – because love kept actually leaves you empty. Love squandered is better than love contained. Love held onto turns into no love at all. So give it all away. Let yourself be inconvenienced.
The Christmas story is the birthing of our storehouse of Love that will never leave us dry. It is eternal and perfect and I guess as beloved children of God we can actually sing: “It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone” because that is actually our story. Seems crazy, but it is true.
Here is a Christmas prayer I wrote two years ago that I still love – read it to your loved ones, and soak up all the crazy, insane love that you can:
Thank you for sending your only son in the form of a sweet baby; raised by faithful, humble, and simple humans, in order that we might have confidence that You experience life with us.
You came. Thank you for coming for us.
On this day we stop, and remember, the first and only important Christmas gift – Your life. You came down from Heaven and lived among us, walking with us, loving us, teaching us, eventually saving us, but first—you came as a baby.
As innocent as they come, you moved into our world full of pain and sorrow and brought the joy of a newborn, the hope of a Savior.
We wait anxiously, expectantly, joyfully, for You to return once again.
On this day more than any other we prepare room in our hearts for You. We remember what You did for us, with your life, death, and resurrection; we are grateful for what You are currently doing for us, in being transformed to be more and more like You each day; and we wait with anticipation for what You will do for us in the future, in Your returning and bringing us into everlasting union with You.
We love You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Help us make room in our hearts and homes for You today.