God had lots of hands today. Hands that high-fived, cooked macaroni, and curled hair. He had feet, too, perfect for kicking balls and jumping through hula hoops. Oh, and you should have seen His smiles—big, warm, and constant, just the way He likes it.
You see, a dozen college students put on their Jesus clothes (Well, they never actually took them off), rolled up their sleeves, and loved some foster kids BIG all morning. I wish you had been there! And since there are no photos, let me paint a quick picture of some God-moments:
1) A little boy is shy, running away when someone tries to chat. Little by little he warms up, eventually standing close to the students, even letting one push him on the swing. Once or twice, there’s a tiny smile. I wonder if he feels safe in this moment—senses God’s love with skin on.
2) Swarms of kids flood the yard for kickball. Some are pretty good. Others, not so much. But everybody gets cheers, each child’s name celebrated: “Janie, you GO, girl! Where’d you learn to run like that?” And Janie stands taller, hands on hips, a little swagger, playing it up for the crowd.
3) A young girl is excited for her first school dance but worried about looking nice. College ladies come to the rescue, heading to town for hair products and returning for a full-on beauty treatment. In a matter of minutes, Voila! Cinderella emerges.
4) In the kitchen, it’s lunch time. One student stirs noodles, another pours Kool-Aid. While they work, wheels turn: How to help this foster mom….Maybe prepare meals in advance—lasagna, chili, taco soup—then freeze and deliver…. Day-long cooking party! Where? When? Let’s do it!
I’ve always heard we’re never more like Jesus than when we’re serving. And to a follower, gettin’ some Jesus hands is crucial. Using ’em is Biblical:
Does talking about faith indicate a person really has it? For instance, you see an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (James 2:14-17, The Message).
You see, loving God—a huge privilege for believers—is only half the gig. We just can’t hoard all this love. We can’t spend all our energy soaking up the Bible studies, prayers and meditation. Important? Heck, yeah! Without knowing God, how can we love Him? Honor Him? Enjoy Him?
But some of that love—all of it, if need be—must spill over to those who need it. Maybe it’s a foster home visit. Perhaps it’s a little thing no one will see. But it’s necessary, this call to love a dying world, an invasive love that’s inside, outside, overhead, below. G-O-D in action.
Just wondering: Who around you needs a hand? Who’s desperate for feet that bring relief? Maybe it’s some kids with no parents. Or a lonely grandma. Or people in your very own house. I’d be willing to guess they’re closer than you think.
It’ll bless you, this love sharing—just ask some college kids I know with full hearts. But we don’t do it for the blessing. We do it because that’s who we are: Christ followers with God-love spilling out our pores.
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39).