Thursday, September 2, 2010

I suck at love.

This is what I realized tonight.  At the farmers market.

Chris, Ephraim, and I met my brother and his wife at the farmers market we have in our downtown.  We were standing there chatting when a woman came up and asked if we had any change so she could buy something to eat because she was hungry.  I looked at Chris because he really tries to live by the motto, "Give to everyone who asks you" (Luke 6.29), so I figured he would dig into his pockets as he usually does.  Tonight was no different and while he was doing that digging, this woman began to ask us about Ephraim...he happens to be a big conversation starter.  She wanted to know all the usual questions and threw out all the usual blunders:  Do you talk with his 'real' parents?  Why is it so expensive to 'buy a baby'?  Did you adopt because you can't have 'your own'?

Now here's where it happens.  Here's where I start to suck at love.  I'm standing there trying to be nice and answer her questions and listen to her story of how she was going to Victory Outreach, but stopped and then she screwed up and got put in lockup and now she's out on pro...I'm doing this, but really I just want her to walk on.  I'm worrying that my brother and sister-in-law whom we invited on this outing aren't going to have much fun if we spend the whole time talking with this woman.  I'm trying to find a way out of this conversation.  Point blank: I simply don't want to spend 20 minutes talking to this woman.

So she eventually wraps up the conversation (with a little prompting from me) and we walk on.  Not 10 minutes later, I'm at the other end of the farmers market having a jolly little conversation with some friends we ran into.  I'm loving it.  I would spend 20 minutes talking with them any day.

And when I get home, I realize I suck at love.  Because if Jesus was at that farmers market tonight, that woman was exactly who He would've spent 20 minutes, even an hour, talking with.  He would've walked away from his friends to talk to her.  There's this thing in Luke 14 where Jesus tells people not to invite their friends and family when they have a dinner, but to go out into the street and invite "the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind."  And I've always struggled with what that really needs to look like in my life.

Now I know.  I may suck, but I'd like to get better.


mary gendron said...

You are not alone.

Something really creative... said...

I was feeling the same usual. Then that quote from Nouwen ran through my mind, "...then I realized that the distractions are my work..." I felt like I suck at it too.

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