“Daddy is going to meet a special friend,” I explained to my two-year-old Peter, who wondered why my husband was not joining the family for lunch. “Daddy is going to see Jesus?” Peter asked in reply. My son’s comment reflects his belief in God’s imminent presence and convicts me to both embrace that reality and more regularly invite God into my day.
Do I pray and actually listen for a response before facing a relationship challenge? Do I see people through God’s perspective, treating them with honor, dignity and love when they provide poor customer service or I have waited long in an unending line? Do I see only my inconvenience or step outside myself to see into their lives, as involved and important as my own? How many moments of my valuable time do I spend thanking God for having a life to live and time to spend in the first place?
Seeing Jesus. How special that will be! Though this joyous meeting will happen on the morn of the endless and ultimate day, I accept my son’s innocent remarks as a two-fold challenge for the present. First and foremost, may I seek Jesus every day. This looks like giving God the first minutes of my day, obeying His promptings and call and following Him rather than myself and my desires. Secondly, may I love the people I encounter, recognizing in them the Imago Dei — the image of God. Made in His image, each person carries dignity and worth. I desire to live, speak and act according to that truth by loving our society’s orphans and widows, loving the sinner and loving the refugee.
In my limited experience, loving in these ways can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. Loving radically can delay my plans, make me hurt and everything in between. Yet because I choose to follow Jesus, I will accept this cost. Jesus pointed His disciples to greatness by asking them to become servants. “[I] came not to be served but to serve,” he said and then lived the ultimate service by giving His life to atone for the sins of the world (Matthew 20:28).
He also taught that that those who lose their lives will find true life in Him (Matthew 16:25-26). Following Jesus means that life is clearly not about me. Pouring my life out in meals and chores, in playtimes and bedtimes, in listening and thinking, may I follow in the footsteps of my Lord and my God. Maybe then, when I visit a friend or kindly speak to a stranger, they will see Jesus in me.
Lauren L. Love is a stay-at-home wife and mother of two who is currently finishing her masters in Public Policy at the University of London. When she is not playing in the dirt alongside, walking with, and reading to her boys, she enjoys considering how to live out her faith in the public sphere and raising her boys to do the same.