Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Reigning Real from your Throne: Part IV

As Jesus’ beloved Princess Warrior, we are heirs to some wondrous gifts. Resources and friendship are two such treasures we have already explored. Please, before continuing, review the past three installments of Reigning Real from your Throne.

Reigning Real from your Throne: Part IV

Carol Van Atta

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”
(John 15:9)

After discovering her now treasured scroll, Princess Warrior, Grace, gratefully utilized the resources provided by her King, and was developing friendships with others who resided within the Kingdom.

In the beginning, loving others was easy. In fact, Grace wondered why Jesus would make loving a commandment to live by. For in response to her wonderful new position, as a Princess Warrior, her love seemed to overflow by its own accord and involved little effort on her part. Until …

Princess Warrior, Beauty, arrived. There was no doubt that Beauty, the newest addition to the castle, was beautiful. She was charming, elegant, and knew all the right things to say. She hurried to please her King whenever He was present. At their worship gatherings, she sang the loudest. As an amazing Soprano, her voice soared far above the other singers. Many of the Kingdom’s residents appeared bewitched by Beauty’s many talents, and hurried to befriend her.

However, with no audience watching, and when they were performing everyday tasks, Beauty became rather unlovely.

As Grace and her companions ventured into the world beyond the Kingdom walls, Beauty changed, for the worse.

“Grace,” Beauty snorted, “why don’t you go talk to that pheasant and tell her about our King. I don’t want to get my gown dirty. She’s so, so, well, she’s filthy in her sin. I heard that she lives with some much older man, and he’s not her husband or her father, if you know what I mean. I don’t want her grime anywhere near me.” Beauty shuddered in obvious disgust, flouncing her skirt ruffles as if to remove something unsightly.

Deeply disturbed by Beauty’s behavior, Grace hurried to share The Truth with the troubled young woman living with the much-older man. After all, reigning real was about loving. Grace had not forgotten that in the not-so-distant past, she, too, had been sin-filled. While still covered with the dirt of her decisions, a kind woman had taken the time to meet with Grace and had shared the wonders of the King. What if that woman had refused to love her “as is”? Where would she be now? Grace didn’t want to consider the options.

Later, after a day filled with many similar situations, Grace returned to the castle frustrated. She had no trouble loving the hurting people they had seen in the surrounding towns, but, right now, she wasn’t so sure she could love her sister in Christ. Beauty was downright mean, nasty, and conceited. It was crystal clear to Grace that Beauty was simply performing for the King and others in the castle. Grace hoped she wouldn’t have to accompany Beauty again as a ministry partner.

That night the King visited Grace. Gently, taking her hands, He held her close. Grace loved these special times when she was the apple of His eye. Nothing could compare to His immeasurable love, absolutely nothing.

After a few moments, He spoke, “Precious Daughter, wherever you go I am there. I saw your hard work today and the love you shared. I believe we will have several new Kingdom residents in the very near future. I will bring to fruition the good work of your hands. Yet, I have this one thing against you, my child. You have chosen to close your heart in relation to young, Beauty. The sun is down and you cling to your anger. I am aware of her shortcomings, Daughter, but, as with You, I am enough to cover all things. It is not your job to worry about her actions, rather, love her. Just love her. I will do the rest. Goodnight, my child. Do not be troubled. Love.”

After He departed, Grace had a dream.

In the dream, a much younger Beauty was standing in front of a classroom. Her dingy clothes were covered with stains, and her hair hung in a mass of unruly tangles. She was singing, her voice as enchanting as ever. Only her classmates didn’t seem to hear her breathtaking vocals, instead they were laughing and pointing at her clothing and hair, whispering just loud enough that Beauty could hear their snide remarks:

“She’s so dirty. Her mom’s living with the mailman and they’re not married.”
“Look at her hair; it’s disgraceful that she even leaves the house like that.”
“What do you expect? Her father was a drunk.”

The next morning, as Grace prepared for the day, and pondered her vivid dream, she determined that the person she was supposed to shower love on was Beauty — a woman, although forgiven by the King, who was still caught in the web of her painful past, and who was relating to others the way she had been treated.

Now, for the very first time, Grace understood why love was a command. Because if it wasn’t, she would choose to spend her time loving those easiest to love, when the ones needing love the most were those hardest to love.

Isn’t that the truth? The New Testament sums up our marching orders with two clear commandments: Love God. Love others. Sadly, sometimes, it is easier to love strangers into God’s Kingdom then those more difficult folks sharing the church pew.

We get all caught up in the love-is-a-feeling mantra, when in truth, love demands action. Although, good feelings are often a byproduct of loving unconditionally, they aren’t the reason for loving. One of the gifts we receive from God is His unfathomable, unconditional, undeserved love. Yet, we, so often, find it much easier to take then to give.

“God, you can’t mean I have to love her? She’s so rude.” God says, “Love her.”

“But he hurt me. He lied.” God says, “Love him.”

I don’t know about you but this “turn the other cheek” thing is really hard. Loving someone without liking their actions is challenging to say the least.

Yet, Christ, as our example and as our King, loved us while we were still sinners. When we were our ugliest, dirtiest, filthiest, He loved us. It’s not our great voices, figures, intelligence, or any other talent that earns His love. In fact, we can’t earn it, ever. It is and will always remain a gift — a gift that we can choose to unwrap or refuse.

As Princess Warriors for Christ, remaining in God’s love, thus sharing His love is our most important responsibility.


L: learn to listen (we often talk too much; sometimes listening, without giving advice, is the best way to demonstrate the love of our King)
O: Open your heart (Ask God to mold your heart in such a way that it beats as His does, with empathy and compassion)
V: Vow to be virtuous (honorable and upright in your dealings, not underhanded towards others)
E: Enlist Encouragement
(remember to lift up, not tear down)

1 comment:

Bernadine said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love your blog. This is a really beautiful story, I enjoyed reading it.
God bless,