The notes capture the moment that was going to change my heart and my forever.
They’re the words I scribbled on a scrap of paper during my first phone conversation with Steve on July 18, 1989.
I sat on the couch in the apartment I shared with my sister, Lori, with the big phone on the floor next to me. Steve told me about himself – his love for philosophy (existentialism and Kierkegaard – I had no idea what he was talking about); he was reading The Russia House (I went out and bought a copy that night); he loved baseball (I knew my dad would like him!); and his family and faith mattered a lot (whew!).
More conversations and notes and cards followed. We got to know each other. And love happened.
I’m so glad I didn’t just sit and think about Steve after that first phone conversation, imagining who he was, creating a picture of him in my mind about what I thought he was like, assuming what was important to him. That would have just been silly, right? Of course.
We start loving someone when we get to know them. And in every relationship, love grows as we get to know more about them.
I’ve learned that the same thing happens in my God-and-Gaye relationship.
Jesus’ friend and disciple, Mark, was part of the teaching moment when Jesus answered the question, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Wow. Now that’s a big deal question. (Can’t you just picture the scene? The whispering in the room stops, the people pause and lean forward, eyes focused on this man they’re trying to figure out, wondering what this Teacher who has engaged them in such deep conversation was going to say.)
Jesus answers: “The most important one…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:28-31)
It can’t be any clearer.
Jesus didn’t rattle off rules. Doctrinal statements weren’t stated. It’s not about doing.
It’s about loving.
Loving God with every fiber of our being.
Our heart = our will and choices
Our soul = the core of who we are that nurtures everything about us
Our mind = our thoughts and desires
Our strength = our body
How do we love God with every part of who we are?
The answer slips quickly into my soul…
We get to know Him.
How do we do that?
We read the letters He wrote to us.
We talk with Him.
We spend time with Him.
We learn from others who also know Him.
We nurture and cherish a relationship that builds on conversations, moments, prayers, tears, celebrations.
It’s hard to love someone deeply when we don’t know them.
I want to get to know God better. You too?
I want to love Him with every fiber of my being. You too?
Then let’s get to know Him.
I bet God loves philosophy, good books, baseball, conversations, laughter. I know He loves talking with me.
That’s so cool.