I had the joy of spending the last few days at a Christian Music Festival called the ALIVE Festival, and let me tell you - it was a blast! We spent six days camping and worshiping with friends, leaders, and students from our student leadership team. I had the opportunity to hear incredible stories, famous speakers, and worship with some of the most amazing bands like Hillsong United, Switchfoot, Skillet, and Tenth Avenue North. Trust me, I could go on and on and on and on about all the Godly conversations and inspired moments that happened during those six days... but I really have only one thing that struck my heart so hard that I just had to share with you all... and his name is Joey.
And what's funny, is that he never once told me that he loved me.
He showed me.
You see, from spending just a few days with Joey I know for a fact that he loves to share what he has with people. And sharing with others (especially food! haha) is his way of telling you that he cares for you. I kid you not, every time I saw Joey he was offering me some of his fries, an extra cookie, or a bite of his dessert. And his biggest joy, was the moment you said Yes! and scarfed down that french fry! You can read it all over his face. You can see it in his eyes. God has given this 11 year old a heart that is seeking to show people love by sharing what he has.... and being around that kind of pure, i-want-nothing-back-from-you kind of love is more than just fun, it's healing.
What I learned from Joey this week is that God's love is pure, and when we are able to show others a pure, non-judgmental love... how much easier will it be for them to see Christ in us? We have the ability to really show other people we love them. I think we just often get so distracted or consumed with ourselves, that we will miss the opportunities that God places right in front of us.
Joey had an opportunity to show me he loves me this week - simply by sharing his life with me, and straight up treating me like a friend... and he took advantage of his opportunity. As a result, I walked away from every moment spent with him feeling like I was loved, respected, and accepted. WOW! How much of God's grace I felt through an 11 year old. I can't say it enough, wow....
So let's turn the tables. We each have 24 hours in a day (roughly 16 of them spent awake). What are we doing with those hours? We all have a love language. What is yours? We each have family, friends, and co-workers that we are spending time with every day. What kind of an impression are we leaving on those people?
I think what I'm getting to is this... We can learn something from Joey if we are willing to look into our hearts and inspect our actions. Do me a favor, and ask yourself today the questions I presented above. Ask God to show you in what areas your heart needs to be molded. And if we're lucky, we might just end up a little bit more like Joey.