For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. - 1 John 3: 11
I'm part of a morning bible study. We meet every Thursday at the middle school - gathered in a conference room. We huddle together and our Fearless Leader Lana lights the way. We come from all walks - old teachers, new teachers, paras, secretaries, me. All religions. All faith. Small faith. Broken faith. Broken hearted.
All of us. Every Thursday morning.
Sometimes, Librarian Mandy would barrel in with her McDonald's breakfast and a Diet Mountain Dew for me, and sometimes I'd sit back in my chair, overwhelmed. Sometimes, Mary would scrunch her eyebrows together and raise her hand and we'd spend a week thinking about her questions. Marinating. Wondering. Lost in our own answers. Wading.
My notes are scribbled, jargon-y messes -- so much so that I'd go back a couple of days later and summarize them. Choose a phrase to gracefully illustrate whatever it was that we talked about that particular week.
I'm not going to tell you what to believe or how to believe it or when to believe it. I'm simply going to tell you that Thursday mornings with a small tribe in a cold room was sustaining. It was light. It was broad questions and hard answers and research and prayer and a communal acknowledgement that we are suffering through each day as moms. As teachers. As friends. As people. Trying to do our best. Trying to love our best.
In 1 John, John - a disciple of Christ - is preaching to the churches in his sphere of influence. A sort of "this is what you need to remember" ... And you know me. I'm a list girl. Fearless Leader Lana has asked us to think of what we learned the most about in our semester together for our last meeting (tomorrow morning). So, like the diligent student that I am, I pulled my notes out tonight.
[Sidenote: Cheetah print notebook, you guys. My notes are in a cheetah print notebook. Because Jesus <3's animal print.]
I think what I'll walk away with the most is 1 John ... chapter 3. Oh my stars - let's talk about that for a second. Show love in your deeds. Show genuine love. Show genuine assurance. Be joyful in your courage. Be joyful in your courage. Lay down your life for your brothers, because listen: there is no halfway kinda love. God commands us to get it together and keep others in our hearts. Because HE loves us ... we can love each other.
Love is sure imperfect, isn't it? And hard. And sometimes we're just not very good at it (ohhhh goodness, me included). Sometimes, it's hard to even imagine loving your neighbor. And by neighbor, I mean anyone - the lady at work that is intent on making your life hard, the man that cuts off your sentences because of course you couldn't be smart enough to talk in his presence, the kid that runs the stop sign and literally almost kills you on a Thursday morning.
I am by no means an expert. I just know what I feel. And I feel like this semester, I needed the reminder. A big, giant, blinking reminder:
Love people. And not just when it's easy. And not just when it's convenient. And not just when the sun is shining or when you're in a good mood. Love people every single day. When it's hard. When you have to grit your teeth, take a deep breath, and especially -- when you have to remember that the people that shout loudest at you need it the most.
So tomorrow, when Fearless Leader Lana asks what we will take away with us?
I'll tell her love.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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