There has been so much tragedy the last few weeks. From the hurricanes & natural disasters to last week’s Las Vegas shooting. My heart hurts so much for everyone affected by this…the uncertainty, the fear, the helplessness…I remember when 9/11 happened, everyone softened and there was almost a blanket of peace and love over our country. We all came together –there was a shift in the tone of our community—how people acted and reacted to each other. There was a new and fresh sense of love and sincere care for one another. It made me think about what we’ve been talking about this week – ways that we can show God’s love to the world.
When David and his business partners launched PureFlix, it started off as a film company that made movies to build a DVD library. These films shared a positive message about faith, hope and God‘s love. Today, PureFlix continues to make content for TV, theatrical release and digital streaming on your TV, computer, phone etc. Not everybody wants to go to church…but you can get almost anyone to go to a movie theatre or watch a show. It’s a way to reach others and share His love through the messages of our films. This is the first thing I thought of when reflecting on how I show God’s love to the world. It is humbling to know that we are not just actors pursuing our “own” dream in Hollywood, but also filmmakers that can reach people around the world by sharing hope and inspiration. God’s plan and vision is always bigger than our own!
I realize not every one has a desire to make films, but there are so many other ways we can share God’s love. On a global scale, people go on mission trips to help the hurting or the hungry, support a child via World Vision or another organization, etc… On a smaller scale I think about what I can do in my community on a day-to-day basis like volunteering or even just smiling at a stranger, helping a Mom out with carpooling or just listening to a friend cry and pray with them. We can mentor local teens or host small gatherings for our children and their friends. I have also reflected on what I can do in my own home within my marriage or to my children. It’s easier than we think to let His love shine through us.
The pastor of my church did a great sermon on “Grace Givers” a few weeks ago. Pastor Shawn touched on qualities of a “grace giver” and a few that really stuck out to me were:
• Grace-givers intentionally engage people others go out of their way to avoid
• Grace-givers treat others with the dignity they deserve.
• Grace-givers allow others freedom and room to grow.
To me, a Grace-giver is someone who demonstrates the unconditional love of God, or as Pastor Shawn put it, “I can embrace the messiness in others because Jesus embraced the messiness in me.” When we walk with our friends in their pain—not judging them but truly loving and supporting them, we show God’s love. It can be as simple as a smile to a stranger or a text to a friend asking, “How is your heart today?” Or praying for a friend or dropping them a note to tell them you’re thinking of them. Even the simple act of reaching out can allow God’s love to shine through you.
My dear friend has been grappling with so much pain this year. She told me recently that the way she has been getting through it is through her girlfriends: who have listened to her sob uncontrollably (about the same things!), called to check on her, included her in family dinners, invited her for walks and coffee dates…basically showed they loved her by wanting to spend time with her and making time for her. She said that she has been humbled by the outpouring of love on her—God’s love–as she has struggled and felt so uncomfortable in her own skin. As alone as she has felt, she feels His love wrapped around her through the support of her friends.
I want to encourage each of you this week to open your eyes and to slow down so you can see where God can use you and pour out His love through you. It might be as simple as buying a stranger a coffee, or checking on a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or carrying someone’s groceries to their car…it might be praying for someone. There are countless ways we can show God’s love for others (on a physical or emotional level)…and it’s incredible the impact it will have if we do so…so what are you waiting for?? Let God’s love shine through you and shine on, friends.