My very first day back to work after my son died, I found myself staring at a desk that had been frozen in time for two weeks, with Post-It notes, uncapped pens, a half-eaten box of granola bars, and a smelly coffee mug. I thought coming back to work might take my mind off things, but I was very wrong. Here was evidence that two weeks’ prior, my life had been a completely different one; one where I knew what to do and why I was doing it. The great pause button had lifted off my life, and the life that was resuming was terrifying, unfamiliar ground. 

I fought a panic attack as I started tidying up, picking up notes to myself that were written in a foreign language, and setting them back down. I did not know the person who had occupied this desk.

In the middle of this, the phone rings, and I foolishly answer it. A very angry woman began to let me know I had dropped the ball on some thing or other, and detailed all the ways my behavior was unacceptable, and made a list of hasty judgements about my character that were all very unattractive. 

I told her I’d get on it, and it would be handled immediately. I didn’t tell her who she was yelling at, because she would be ashamed of herself, and I loved her.

Rewind.

I am not a saint. I was, however, able to love her for reasons that are supernatural, and I can hardly believe what happened in that moment myself, let alone try and explain it to anyone else. But here goes…

I was very suddenly in the presence of Jesus, who knew I was having a panic attack, and He was having none of it. I quite literally saw Him. He was looking right at me, and we were both hearing the voices of mockers and scorners, but He did not remove His eyes from me. He wanted us to be in this moment together. I was aware how intimately Jesus loved me and cared about all the things that happen to me. The idea that I was His bride was a tangible thing that I could sense in every way.

I also felt how deeply He loved those who were pouring out their hate on Him. If only they, too, could feel this love! Someone would have to show them. Someone needs to reflect this peace and calm these voices until they were able to hear how good He is! 

Before I even knew what was happening, I gave what I had received; I loved her with a soft answer and a voice filled with assurance. 

As I cannot run up and hug Jesus physically, I will just have to make do with loving His people, whom He calls His body, His hands and feet. Fortunately, He gives us power to do this even when people look the furthest from Jesus anyone can be.

I will never know if anyone set this lady straight about why I was not answering her emails when I was at my son’s funeral. Nor do I need to know. I am the Bride of Christ, and He is my champion and vindicates me so that I am free to love without condition.

 

Reflection

1.    Are there people in your life who need the soft assurance of love from the Bride of Christ (that’s you, honey!)?


2.    How might you do things differently in the light of your identity as the Bride of Christ?


3.    How would exploring your power as the Bride of Christ shape how you approach your purpose in life?

 

Goal Setting & Sharing

List three ways in which you can begin to show love every day, based on your identity in


However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them.(Matthew 5:44 TPT)

 

Contained within these commandments to love you will find all the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.  (Matthew 22:40 TPT)

 

These matters are fine, yet you ignore the most important duty of all: to walk in the love of God, to display mercy to others, and to live with integrity. Readjust your values and place first things first. (Matthew 23:23)


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Editor’s Wanted!

We are looking for two fabulous editors to join our volunteer writing team!

- Edit 2 articles a month.

- 1 monthly online meeting with the CW writing/editing team