Lack of greeted me as I traversed the aisles of my local market as I sought a single package of toilet paper or bottle of bleach a week or so ago. No paper products. No cleaning and disinfecting products. The cereal aisle – decimated. Frozen foods – gone. Baby formula – cleared out.
Even in those early days, I understood how serious the pandemic was and is, but did the empty shelves also reflect a loss or lack of hope? Sadness seeped into my heart. Lord, I thought, how do we get through this?
As I walked the aisles and selected from the shelves what I could find on my weekly list, I realized I was not only sorrowful, but also a bit angry with the people who were panic buying more than they needed out of fear – and leaving nothing for others. I breathed deeply and prayed for grace in my thoughts for others, and for mercy for my own self-righteous thoughts. A memory came to mind of a prayer I uttered a few years back for God to give us a fresh revelation of Himself – a fresh revelation of Love. I don’t remember the circumstances that formed the prayer, but His response flooded into my heart and mind just as it had that day: you give them a fresh revelation of Me.
The words stopped me in my mental tracks when I heard them then; on this day they brought me a kind of peace.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Ah, yes, I thought, of course. What could be fresher than to simply love and to love simply?
Lord, fill me today and every day. Fill me so that I might pour out Love upon others – through caring, sharing, providing a smile, by reaching out by phone, card or email. Fill the shelves of my heart, Jesus, that I might put something on the shelves of others’ hearts. Let me not just reflect Your love; let me be a fresh revelation of You.