So tomorrow, Ryan and Jamie and their two daughters are having dinner with my mom and I at Olive Garden!!!! Very excited!
We agreed we would both post blogs before and after the dinner.
I think it was Joel who first pointed me to Ryan and Jamie's blog in his own blog post. I knew that this was a must read blog from the get-go. Jamie always points to Jesus and never to us. Since then we have e-mailed everyday, talked on the phone and now we're all going out to dinner.
I am very excited but very nervous. It's always scary the first time. But I have a feeling I will feel right as rain with them. I feel security over the phone even. It is like being surrounded by the grace of Jesus. I always expect to hear things I hear from every other person in the faith older than me, telling me about all the obligations I have for Jesus. But Jamie never does that. She always points me to His love for me and that His love will not fail. Ryan and Jamie are so convinced of the power of His love that I don't sense one hint of religion in them. They are so filled up with Jesus because of their ruthlessly entrusting themselves to His love. I can't wait to speak with them face to face.
I am afraid of whether or not I will hinder Jesus loving them through me because of fear. But I have sneaking suspicions that He is greater than my fears. I have expectations of feelings of security and comfort tomorrow. Talking with them is sort of like coming to a heavenly embassy. There is safety, protection and familiarity there. The love of Jesus is so evident I can sense it. The protection of His unfailing love is in them and through them for me. I don't understand why He loves me so much. I am not being modest, I honestly do not understand it.
I tell them in my e-mails that they love me too much. The truth is, is that I don't know how to handle all of it. If I could draw you a picture, this would be it:
I picture myself standing here, arms loaded with presents from strangers, wondering why they love me so much and how they could be so generous.
I think God gives a better picture, though. I was just reading the story of Mephibosheth yesterday. Mephibosheth had nothing to offer. He was cripple in both his feet, and the king, David himself, commands that Mephibosheth be blessed with servants, a house, food and everything he would ever need. Not only that, he is to eat at the king's table EVERYDAY!
Jesus' love is in your face and makes you uncomfortable, because He loves you with this perfect knowledge of you and insists that He joins Himself to you despite all of the sins you would love to hide. All of your most filthy sins, His love being so vast, He, "brushes them aside like an unwanted cobweb." He loves us now through each other. He hugs us through each other. It's scary and I will feel very nervous about this post tomorrow.
It feels almost embarrassing to say things like this and act so loving because you're so used to being who you used to be, it feels strange to have these new desires and affections. I am so accustomed to the old, dead sinner I used to be that behaving like the righteous person I am seems embarrassing. But with the push of love from sincere brothers and sisters who are filled with Love, that should give me the hang of it.
I am nervous and excited. I am so glad I know people close to me who really know Jesus.