Thursday, March 3, 2011

When Love is Not Enough

I'm reading the bible all the way through and my reading this past week has been about Love.

So, I've been helping a very wonderful couple purchase an investment property this past month. The rental they want to buy is located in what is probably the ugliest, poorest ghetto in my city. I've been a little uneasy showing them properties these past couple weeks because the weather is warmer and some very scarey-looking people live in these areas. When it was colder, you didn't see people on the street. The temps hit mid 60's and the people had come out like cockroaches on their porches, in the streets, in the yards. My uneasiness has nothing to do with skin color. The poorest, ugliest neighborhoods in my city are predominately white folk. These are the scariest looking people I've ever seen. I felt vulnerable parking my car and having these murderous-types, creepy looking men watch me closely as I walk up to vacant, boarded up houses. My car doesn't fit in there. My clothes don't fit in there. Even though I have hippy longish hair, my hair doesn't even fit in there.

A couple years ago I went property shopping with my brother in these neighborhoods for an investment. I felt safer with my brother because he "packs heat" (carries a concealed weapon) and knows how to use it. Even then I was a little nervous.

This wonderful couple that I'm helping now most certainly do not "pack heat." They are devout Christians and their whole lives are dedicated to ministering and serving others. Last night as we were getting the offers signed I told them that I wished I had the same "love" they have for these people they serve. I told them I prayed and confessed my sin to God for not wanting anything to do with those I saw glaring (drooling) at me from their porches.

See, my clients aren't buying just an investment property. Their church is a couple blocks around the corner from this rental, and they plan to use the house for outreach to the neighbors. They have already been reaching out to these people, serving meals, offering friendship, tutoring children. I wish you could see what the clientele looks like there. If they hadn't just been released from prison, they probably should be in prison. Perverted. Dangerous. "How do you do it," I asked my friends. "What do you mean," they responded. I tod them that the people I see in that neighborhood look dangerous. "They are dangerous, " they acknowledged "But, that doesn't mean they don't need or deserve the gospel or our help."

I told my friends that I want that kind of love. That my fear of being kidnapped, raped, and killed keeps me from even approaching anyone in that neighborhood.

The wife answered so sweetly to me, "yes, we hope our motivation is love, but I'm not always sure it is." What do you mean by that, I asked. What other possible motivation could you have? The husband replied, "well, I hope I don't burst any grand ideas you may have about us, but obedience is our motivation. I'm not sure we feel a lot of love, though we certainly wish to."

Obedience. Oh, my. I never thought about the connection between Love and Obedience.

I am very aware of the fact that Faith is required to Obey. I've been asked by the Lord to do some really strange things and hard things that I knew I would never do or could ever do, unless I relied on Faith to propel me to action. "When you are called, " my friend said, "it's always best if you obey."

So where Love is lacking, Obedience answers.

Jesus said, "if you love Me, you will obey my commandments."

That's a really cool lesson I learned last night. I hope God finds me faithful to what He asks me to do. Even if it's living next door to some dangerous, scarey-looking, perverted, drug fiends.


  1. wow is all I can say with that couple, but in the deepest realm of my "soul" or heart, I'm thinking, I would like to be called like that. I'm thinking God is watching over them no matter what happens in that house of theirs and I'm sure many will come to hear the only message that matters in that house of theirs


  2. Wow this is a really great post. Thanks so much for the blessing that you are with your message. I'm definitely following and I hope you'll check out my blog and follow as well! ; ) God bless.

  3. I am touched of your story today,it relates me. how I wish ,I could meet them too.
    God Bless,