This week it was announced at church that my hubby would be the new senior pastor. The morning leading up to that announcement was an emotional one for me. There was the usual morning shenanigans with the kids as they stalled to get ready. By the time I got them in the car I needed to just stop and take a deep breath. I reminded myself that they don’t understand how important it is to me that I get there early. I want to support my team. I want to help in different areas where I can. I want to be the best pastor I can be. Not because I want to live up to expectations, but because I love our congregation. That final thought was the one that made me cry.
A Love that Compels
My tears came from a realisation that I have changed. I have sat in the same “kids stalling, mad rush, arrive in the car overcome by emotion” place many times in my life but it used to be a sense of anxiety that I was about to disappoint someone. Last Sunday, the feeling was different.
I have a crush
The best way I can explain the feeling is to compare it to when you suddenly realise you have a crush. You’ve been hanging around someone and noticed little differences in the way they are, things that intrigue you, things that inspire you, things that make you want to be around them more. It’s like I realised I have a crush on my church.
I thought of all the things I wanted to do for people yesterday and I smiled to myself, knowingly, and thought, I really love these guys.
The love I want
This morning I was reading a devotional comparing Jesus’ attitude towards us as to a friend cheering us on through the game of life, celebrating the wins and spurring us on through the obstacles. For Him to walk with us in that way, He really needs to know us inside out, to understand our limitations, our fears and what motivates us to bring our best game. He needs to love us completely and without being put off by our shortcomings. And He does.
That’s the kind of love I want to have. I think that’s what’s changed in me. It’s not a conscious thing I’ve been working on, it’s just a growing change in the way I love. It’s become less selfish and more natural. My philosophy class at uni labelled this as benevolent love and there was a debate about whether it actually existed. It does. It sums up Jesus. And if Jesus’ Spirit is changing me, then it’s possible I have some of it too.