The door bell rang yesterday afternoon, which startled me, because as with most of you I’m certain, it’s been weeks since anyone came over. On the front step, there was a package addressed to me. I didn’t remember ordering anything or winning any giveaways, so I was puzzled. When I opened the box (after Clorox wiping it down of course), I cried a few tears of joy. The packing slip inside listed my address as the delivery, but my sweet friend as the one who ordered it. There was a box of sleepy time tea, a candle, a chocolate bar, and a face mask.
My friend who sent this knew that I struggled with anxiety and sleeping most of the time, and also knew it had gotten worse with all of the uncertainty in the air the last few weeks. She knew that I’d been at an emotional low before any of this started and was well aware of the things heavy on my heart and mind. She’s the kind of friend that brings you flowers and has you over to watch a funny movie when life’s tough, because loving people for her is second nature. She sees the need in your eyes, and then sets aside her own desires and needs to help you. She’s really good at loving people, and not just when it’s easy.
When there’s a pandemic and she can’t come hug you and bring chocolate and flowers like she usually does, she mails you a little treat in a box and texts you pictures of yellow tulips every morning instead. She doesn’t let the social distancing and difficult circumstances get in the way of loving people. She just replaces her normal “I love you” with “I love you from over here.”
And we all should be doing the same thing.
It’s very true that our normal means of demonstrating love and care for our people are a bit difficult if not impossible right now. Saying “I love you” with a hug or a coffee date or watching the kids for a few hours isn’t doable. But saying “I love you from over here” with a letter in the mail, a phone call, or even a box with a few little treats, is doable, albeit a bit more time consuming.
Want to stretch your selfless love muscle? Now’s the time. Want to love like Jesus loves? Here’s a chance.
In these circumstances today, we find an amazing opportunity to be like my friend and say “I love you from over here” and lay down a little more of ourselves, our time, our resources than we normally do in order to do so. Want to stretch your selfless love muscle? Now’s the time. Want to love like Jesus loves? Here’s a chance.
We could binge watch another TV show this afternoon, or we could write a note to the elderly woman from church who’s stuck at home right now. We could scroll through Facebook again tonight and weary our minds with the headlines, or we could call that single friend and chat with them for an hour. Maybe instead of Pinterest surfing, we could FaceTime our friend’s little ones and give her the chance to make a meal while we entertain them. Perhaps we could use the money we were going to spend on another subscription and order a little care package for the extroverted friend we know struggles with depression. Maybe instead of just saying “we miss you” we can say to our friends “I love you from over here.”
Maybe instead of just saying “we miss you” we can say to our friends “I love you from over here.”
A lot of things aren’t possible right now, but loving our friends, family, and churches, is possible. Let’s look away from ourselves and use the time we have, the things we’ve been given, and the hope we have in Jesus to say to the ones He’s put in our lives, “I love you from over here.”