You Are Loved.

There’s just something about Friday nights. The end of the work week. The freedom to let down, relax, enjoy staying up a little later, drink a glass of wine. (Okay, anyone who knows me knows that I would drink a glass of wine on any night, but Fridays are just special, okay?!) When I was single, Friday nights would sometimes be an outpouring of emotion. I would struggle with being alone. I would get, dare I say, emotional!

Those who know me well, also know that I am an emotional person. I just don’t show those emotions easily. I cry, just not very often. I tend to keep my emotions in check. Or so I would like to think. I am pragmatic. I am a thinker. I experience emotion, but tears don’t come quickly or spontaneously. Most of the time.

So this past Friday night, as I was sitting on the couch watching TV and fiddling around on my iPad, I was surprised at my emotional response to receiving two, back-to-back texts saying,

You are loved.

What?!

Explanations followed quickly. Two of my dearest friends in the world were at the Women of Faith Conference and they had both been inspired to send a message to someone saying, “You are loved.” Unbeknownst to them, they both sent a text to the same person. Me.

Tears flowed immediately. Why? I wasn’t sure. I was puzzled by them. Yeah, it was Friday night. Yeah, I’m tired from the week. Yeah, I love them and they love me. I’m just tired and when I’m tired I cry easily. Okay.

But something touched me. And, for lack of a better explanation, I could only say that the gesture of love touched me in a place so deep I didn’t even know it was there.

Did I need to know I was loved? Was I feeling unloved?

No. I know I am loved. I feel loved. I feel loved every day. So what was different? The feeling nagged me all through that evening and the next day. And you know what? I realized that although we may know we are loved and we hear or read the words, “I love you” often, we all need to know that we ARE loved.

To say “I love you” is a wonderful thing. It expresses love that we feel toward another person. Those are wonderful words to say to another person. To say, “You are loved” however, is to say that you are a person of value. You  matter. You are worthy of being loved and that worth is acknowledged through those words. It says that you are a person of meaning. It’s really something entirely different and in this case, very moving, even though I may not have realized it at the time.

When I think about it, Jesus never really said, “I love you” to his disciples. Instead, he said, “You are loved” in many ways without really even using words. He washed their feet. He fed them a hot meal. He guided them. He taught them about what loving others really meant. And then, he did the unthinkable.

He died for them. For us.

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He, who was without sin, gave himself up to wipe away the sins of all of us, for all eternity. Without words he said, “You are loved.” And because he loves us, we can love others. We can pause and say, “You are loved” to others. Because no matter who we are or what our life circumstances, we all need to know that we are loved. We all need to hear that we matter to someone. We all need to be valued. We all need to be reminded that we are SO loved, that Jesus died.

Today, maybe you need to hear these words,

YOU ARE LOVED

You are you know. You are loved by the One who loves you enough to die for you. Your life matters, not just to him, but to the people around you. And maybe those around you need to hear those words too. Go ahead. Tell someone, “You are loved.” Yep. It feels good, doesn’t it? Think about the power of those words. You are valued. You are worth it. You are loved.

It really doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. There are no qualifiers in Christ’s economy of love. He just loves you. And because we are loved, he gave his life so that we could escape the death we deserve.

So in honor of my two sweet friends, here’s a picture of us taken recently. Yep, I’m loved, that’s for sure. Sharon and Caran… YOU ARE LOVED!

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