Restoring the Garden

Read: 1 John 4:12

Story: I often experience God (or at least one aspect of God) as a well. A well that I can draw from any time at all. An ever-replenished well of love, joy and peace. At the well, any petty bickering, intolerance or small-mindedness might, for a moment burn with remorse, then quickly become a wave of positive energy, and I’m ready to be more loving. And I love God more for first loving me.

But how well do I turn that readiness into concrete action?

Jesus showed sacrificial love by laying down his life for us. Not many of us get around to showing that level of love.

Mother Theresa saw people suffering and devoted her life to meeting their physical and spiritual needs. A few more of us might take steps in this direction.

The Good Samaritan helped a total stranger who had been beaten and robbed. I like to think that most of us would do the same.

Lending a hand to family and close friends in need is love that should be expected from all of us.

Getting love from and returning love to God at the well is an important start, but all of the above examples are acts that spread God’s love to others. It’s not just about a personal relationship with God. It’s also about spreading God’s love in the world of people.

John writes, “No one has seen God ; but if we love one another, God lives in us and God’s love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12.

Completing God’s love is a pretty big responsibility He shares with us and His mission of restoring the Garden can’t be accomplished without us.

Can anyone claim to love God without sharing that love with others in some way?

Jesus was out there spreading the word.

Mother Teresa was out there seeking those who suffer.

The Good Samaritan was out there travelling the road.

Practice: Any simple act of caring or words of kindness gets us out on the road. Can you think of anyone who might need you out there just a little more? Though the parking lot might seem like a safe place, as one of my many spiritual mentors once said, “God can’t steer a parked car.”

by Bruce Nelson