Its funny sometimes how God can speak to me in random ways. Just last post I was reminded that LOVE WINS from a bumper sticker I saw while waiting at a red light. Sometimes though, it’s the pain and brokenness of humanity that breaks through. It is the look of a homeless person, the despair on the evening news, or even the words of graffiti that reveals some of what people in the world are suffering from right now.
As I drove north this morning to meetings at church, meetings where we plan church services and discuss long-term vision for our church, I was rudely awakened by the picture on the left. Someone had spray-painted “love is not real” on a utility lockbox. What kind of story sends someone onto the streets of Seattle to spray-paint this kind of mantra? What heartache? What hurt? A failed relationship? Is this person suffering from the results of abuse or mistreatment?
My heart hurt for this man or woman led to tag this message. I spend so much energy right now creating a church where people can experience the love of God. And I realized this morning the great dichotomy we face in the Christian religion…we create church services to worship God, while people literally are walking the streets outside with spray paint cans with broken hearts.
How do we tell the story of Jesus Christ, who someone wiser than me once coined “The greatest love story ever written,” as being a story for all people…particularly those who feel like love is not real. My greatest fear is to have our church full of God-loving Christians while the masses are walking around looking for love. We must be out there, in the real world of pain and loss and heart ache, helping people who have lost all hope rediscover themselves within God’s story.
So if you find the person that spray painted LOVE IS NOT REAL on 25th Ave NE, would you pass a message onto them for me? Could you tell them that I’m sorry they are hurting, that Jesus Christ Himself knew pain and hurt and heartache. And after that, tell them that God loves them, this His love is real and transformative and hopeful. And it all rests in a relationship with Jesus. Tell them that love is real. The bible says it here, but your life will communicate it more than your recitation of scripture. Make sure your heart is overflowing so that you almost don’t even need words to communicate it. Love is real. Love is real.