Love Moves Towards
For me, being sent looks like moving toward those God has placed in my life. I once heard that “Love moves toward.” God’s love for me is not mere sentiment, it is sacrificial, committed action. He moved toward me in coming to earth to pay my debt of sin, He actively pursued me in high school when I first understood what it meant to be His disciple, He moves toward me daily as He continually draws me into deeper relationship with Himself.
Tim Keller summarizes sent-ness in the fact that God never draws us in without sending us out. When my husband and I struggle to communicate and my natural inclination is to shut down – Love moves toward him in confidence that we will figure this out together. In the many moments I am struggling as a mother to be patient or kind to my children and my desire is to respond with the same anger being thrown at me – Love moves toward them with meekness instead of putting up barriers between us. When I am brought back to past pain inflicted by other people in my life and bitterness threatens to take root in my heart –
Loves moves forward in the relationship by offering forgiveness again and again, desiring true reconciliation so far as it depends on me.
In the many interactions I have with suffering people, other parents who have buried their own children, friends struggling with pain, disease or infertility, from doubt, miscarriages, fear, struggling marriages or recurring sin- Love moves toward them in the humble confidence that Christ is able to use my own suffering to allow me to reach others with His hope and grace. In my own strength I am unable (and admittedly often unwilling) to move toward any of these people God has put in my life.
Only through His Spirit’s power in me and Christ’s joy-giving command of sending me out am I able to Love at all.
And even then I am inadequate, unable to love purely and selflessly, stumbling in my attempts to love as I have been loved. But as Christ has moved toward me in love, it is my joy to continue to reflect that love to others by moving toward them. He has sent me to this place, to this time, to these people, to show the love He has for us by moving toward those He brings into my life in love.