IF YOU LOVE ME.....
“I'm sorry, Lord. What should I do?” I ask God this morning. I feel that I have failed Him.
A voice answers, quietly, and softly. I am surprised by His candor.
“Do you love me?”
I might have been Peter by the lake, leaning over a bed of hot coals, rubbing, warming my hands, and remembering another time, another place.
“Yes, Lord, you know I love you,” I whisper, abruptly aware of my own failure.
“Do you love me?” He asks again.
“Lord, you know I love you.” I repeat, my voice ringing hollow even to my own ears.
“Do you love me?” He repeats gently in my heart, I am reminded of my failure.
“Yes, Lord, I love you.” Weeping now, I wait for release.
“If you love me....” The words pause.
I feel His touch, lifting my chin to peer into eyes that also once burned into Peter’s. It is at this moment the failure is gone, and I, lost in His gaze, overwhelmed by His love, know I have been forgiven.
“Then feed my sheep,” He whispers.
It is a soft command, not demanding, not pleading, but just a statement of fact.
Feed His sheep? I know what He wants, but I am always aware of how I feel that I fail in that area. I never feel that I give Him enough of myself. But I pickup my laptop, and wait for words to form in my heart and in my mind. I pray that they will be His words and not my own.
This is what He has always intended for me. As He has loved, so must I love through each word I write. I am to inspire others also to love—His child with little hope, the one who offends, the woman lost, and the man deep in sin. We are just as Peter. The redeeming love that looked beyond Peter’s failure, and called for His best, also calls for ours. In tenderness He brings us to our place of failure, reminds, and forgives.
Gently He then calls, “Feed my sheep.” The compassionate heart of Jesus which loves you shall love another at his own coal fire.
“If you love me…” he whispers.