Love is only known by the action that it prompts (John 3:16). In other words, you can tell me that you love, but for me to really know that you love me you need to show me.
Bob Goff wrote the best-selling book, Love Does - just the title alone makes the point.
A 41-year-old woman called me yesterday, she has been sexually abused, addicted to prescription drugs, her marriage is sliding off a cliff and she wants help. How do we (the church) express love in a tangible way to this middle-aged woman? She is walking to my office right now in the cold rain, no doubt hoping for us (the church) to be who we say we are.
I follow a company called Fish Hippie on social media. They sell casual clothing that is geared towards those that like to fly fish and enjoy the adventure we call life.
I see pictures on Instagram of half-shaved dudes sitting by fires in lawn chairs wearing trucker caps with the Fish Hippie logo drinking beer, laughing, no doubt telling stories that are half-truths.
Why can’t that be the church (without the beer of course)?
What’s happening in those pictures look like something I’d like to be a part of - earthy, organic relationships that have love as a foundation. I’d skip the beer because I don’t drink (if you do it’s okay, but I’m a Baptist) but I hope you are getting my point.
The Blonde and I are going to encourage this woman on her way to my office for counseling, and I’ve got a book I’m going to give her, and we will invite her to come and worship on Sunday but why don’t we have a spiritual version of the Fish Hippie thing to invite her to?
That’s what she really needs right (among other things, including maybe some professional help)? Real, viable, sustainable relationships that express love in tangible and in a natural kind of way?
I think we all need time by the fire with people who are not perfect, but people love Jesus and are willing to share the truth of their lives (James 5:16) while wearing a trucker cap. Fake is so overrated. He told me to tell you that.
Ken Ansell currently serves as a pastor and local missionary in small, rural Texas community. He plays lots of tennis and fly fishes when he can. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.