My husband and I have a running joke that when our three-year-old reaches the dating age, he is going to be trouble.
He loves anyone and everyone, but his affection toward the ladies overflows. As Daddy drove him to the hardware store over the weekend, he rolled down the window, blowing kisses to the female in the vehicle next to them.
When they reached their destination, my husband watched in horror as the blushing woman turned in behind them. Fortunately, it turns out kids my boy’s age are more cute than offensive.
His complete confidence that his love would be reciprocated got me wondering, “When do we lose that?” Or when do we start to care if we’re avoided?
It seems as though we reach a certain age and lose our childlike joy in extending uncontained, extravagant love. Is it the first time we’re rejected? Or do we decide it’s inappropriate?
Maybe blowing kisses to everyone we meet would raise a few eyebrows, but I can’t help but think we’d be better off if we kept our childlike boldness when we moved into adulthood. It takes a brave soul to move past worry of being rejected and embrace community.
Every person I see today is not just a face, but a living soul. And yet I so often when I see people, I think more about myself and their opinion of me.
I avoid eye contact with the neighbor at the market and say it’s because my kids are getting restless for dinner. I ignore the nudge to reach out to a new mom because I’m not sure how she’ll respond.
When I consider the lavish love God has poured into my life, I am convicted.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1 NIV
Friends, our love for others should be so bold and brave the world does not recognize it. They should look at us like Judas gawked at Mary when she poured perfume worth a year’s wages on Jesus’ feet: with complete disbelief.
Once we are in Christ, we are no longer people of the world. As Amanda Bible Williams of She Reads Truth poignantly puts it, “The Gospel is your context now.”
Our lives should breathe the aroma of Christ crucified in us.
When we see each person as a soul instead of a face, we can move past fear of rejection because we see the bigger picture. We realize the power of the Spirit in us goes far beyond our feeble attempts for acceptance.
Christ’s love in me is greater than fear of rejection toward me.
So the next time I see my three-year-old blowing kisses at a complete stranger, I will follow his lead. I will reach out a hand to the person with the heavy load who needs me.
I will make eye contact with the neighbor who crushed my ego.
I will remember I am not working for my own self-image, but for a crown to lay at my Savior’s feet.
*Photo credit (text and enhancement added)