There are some moments that just can't be replaced. Today was one of those days. I participated in a Flash Mob at the Millenia Mall. Wanna see?
I'm that way-too-overly-excited guy in the front next to the beautiful woman I get to call my wife. As you can CLEARLY see, I had a lot of fun. But this whole experience, along with everything else that happened to me today, has really left me in awe.
Hundreds of strangers came together to sing, dance, and bring smiles to other people's faces. We didn't have a chance to learn names, but we bonded. I could always count on an equal amount of enthusiasm from my Good-Friend-in-Green-Shirt, a smile from Girl-With-Long-Hair and a funny face from Guy-with-Gray-Pants. (FYI, I was Guy-with-Curly-Hair) This group of people probably disagrees on a lot of things and could easily create a riot over a number of issues. But for once, we chose to unite for one purpose, and for 4 minutes and 21 seconds we were a family bringing joy through jazz squares. The human spirit astounds me. We have the capacity for such viscious evil in us, and yet when we open ourselves up to it, we can also be vessels of such beautiful Love (a very specific Love that I'll talk about in a moment).
After the mob, I went out to dinner to welcome home my brother-in-law from his three month trip to Thailand. He told us stories about the brutality inflicted on Karen refugees and how he was able to bring hope to some of the darkest situations you could imagine. Again, we see the capacity in us for evil and the capacity for Love.
While at the restaurant, I got to meet some of the amazing people that my wife knows. People who have only met me once (or who have not even met me at all) were greeting me like family because of their connection with my lovely wife. Waves, hugs, handshakes, fist pounds, it was like they'd known me for so long. What's amazing is, I felt the same way. I was genuinely interested to hear about people living out their dreams in nursing school, working hard in pre-med, taking charge in business programs. I was sad to hear about illness and truly prayed for God to heal a girl like she was my sister! We could all treat each other like strangers but again, there's a deeper kind of Love that we can experience if we open our hearts.
Here's what I am getting at. Hundreds of people coming together to spread joy, brutalized refugees in Thailand comforted by the words of an American missionary, a group of strangers embracing me and I them, these are all glimpses of Love that is deeper than any song could express. I believe that the most real form Love is that which gives us the most accurate picture of God. I know not everyone I interacted with today may care about God, much less the Bible, but at least humor me and read one of my favorite passages.
1 John 4:7-12 My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know him if you don't love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God.
My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
That's my point. God IS love. We know Him through His love. None of us are perfect, the Bible makes that very clear. We don't earn His love. He doesn't love us because we deserve it. Everyone in that circle I danced in has issues, including this Guy-with-Curly-Hair. But God loves us in spite of our issues and made a way for us to know that love. It doesn't stop there though. The Bible tells us that if we know that love we MUST love others. In fact, it says that if we can't love others, we don't know the first thing about God. That's quite an interesting thought for those who have used the Bible to harass those that they loathe. I think so many people get sick of God because they've been burned by people who call themselves believers but who never actually operate in that kind of love. Think of what could happen if we actually opened ourselves up to His love and actually started showing it to one another. What would change if we took the mentality in that flash mob and actually lived that kind of love for longer than 4 minutes and 21 seconds?
God is invisible, but today I saw glimpses of Him in jazz squares, tales from Thailand, and fist pounds.
To everyone reading: If you have been looking for love that actually lasts, may I humbly suggest that you open your heart to Him and then open your heart to others. Give it a try because it's a pretty awesome feeling.
And to Jp, Girl With Long Hair, Guy with Gray Pants, Josh, Tonya, Beth, Maryselle, Rahsaan, Kurt, Shelley, and Fatimah:
I love you:)
Thanks for making this day so wonderful.