Words by Ps. Bernie Kelsey
“But you walked away from your first love—why? What’s going on with you, anyway?
Recently I was asked to speak to a group of women and the topic was “First Love”. My preparation for the talk took me to this scripture in Revelations.
“What’s going on with us, when we walk away from our first love?” the writer asks. He doesn’t wait for an answer but goes on to instruct us to return and do the things that we did at first.
Well, this got me thinking about when I fell in love with Mark, my husband of thirty four years. I remember one time when we were dating I so wanted to see him that I jumped in a cab after I finished my nursing shift and travelled from Darlinghurst to Dundas (a cab ride that took forty five minutes) just to sit on the front steps of the Kelsey family home with Mark for thirty wonderful minutes. We held hands, chatted and looked deeply into each other’s eyes. Bliss! Sure we could have talked over the phone but just to be near Mark was worth every cent spent on that cab ride: a very expensive cab ride! OH the things we do for love.
Love costs. Love always finds a way. Love doesn’t care what people think. Love is strong.
Eugene Peterson says this “Love is the background against which everything else is played out.
‘God so loved the world that he gave’ is our basic text for understanding and interpreting everything that happens in and around us, but enmity is the condition in which (more often than not) we find ourselves. We’re criticized, teased, avoided, attacked, shot at, abandoned, stoned, cursed, hunted down, snubbed, stabbed in the back, treated like a door mat, and dammed with faint praise. Not all of those things, and not all of the time, but enough of them and often enough to realize that not everyone shares God’s excellent attitude toward us.”
Thank goodness we don’t experience all of those things all of the time!
What makes our hearts grow distant, cold, callused and just plain indifferent? Well, certainly the criticism, the abandonment, the faint praise, the broken trust will cause our hearts to self protect and go into shut down mode. It’s not that we intentionally walk away from His love; it’s more like we drift. The busyness and everydayness of life, cares and concerns, disappointments and hurts and even Christian service can callous our once soft hearts.
The remedy is this: to simply turn around, return to your first love – make a u-turn back to the greatest love ever. Take the cab ride, pay the fare! Just like the prodigal son, he turned around and headed home to a place of love, celebration, absolute acceptance and complete restoration.
It cost God the Father everything to save us. He sent the most expensive gift we could ever imagine – He gave to us His very own son, Jesus – a love letter from heaven written to you and to me.
You are loved. So loved!
THE END…. (as my grand-daughter Selah says after her bedtime story)… but really girls it's just the beginning.