Love That’s Never Normal
Church community isn’t normal.
It isn’t normal to walk into a new place and be greeted with love, acceptance, understanding, and grace.
It isn’t normal to be wanted, or for someone you just met to care enough to ask, “Will you be back next week?”
These were my general observations as an eighth grader many years ago as I left my first encounter with an authentic Christ-like community at a small group I had been invited to by friends from school.
My soul, so thirsty for this love that I had gotten a small glimpse of, would undoubtedly be back the next week. Nothing would have kept me from that small group and the new atmosphere I had suddenly been dropped into.
As the weeks went by and I got to know my small group leaders more, I began to experience Ezekiel 36:26:
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
My misconceptions about God began to fall around me as I learned about my Heavenly Father, my Savior, my Redeemer. The love I had originally experienced through people who were once strangers began to translate into His love for me. That in turn taught me how to love others from the source of His strength, and not out of my own need to receive love in return. My heart of flesh could finally beat.
What did it take to open my eyes to the life that I could have in Christ? Love that was not normal. What does it take for others to notice a Savior that died for them so long ago, but is still waiting for them to see Him? Love that doesn’t fit into this world. God’s love flowing will always stand out.
What does that love look like in your life? Do you know someone whose heart of stone is longing to beat?
This is my story, and it is perhaps the future story of someone who needs your love that is not normal.
Mia Franklin, Director of Small Groups