Passing Love Forward
by Lonnie Lane
God sent me an angel this week. He came in the form of a furniture delivery man. OK, maybe not a real angel but certainly a messenger of comfort. I was feeling saddened by the incident of a man opening fire with a rifle in the Holocaust Museum this past week. The Museum is an acknowledgment that despite immeasurable loss and tragedy, the Jewish people live — Am Y’israel Chai! The Jews believe that to remain aware of what did happen under the Nazis, is to keep it from happening again. The Museum does a graphic job of preserving what remains of those lost lives and dignifying them. That’s why a murder in the Holocaust Museum sends such a obliquely contrary message.
We’ve heard it before. The Holocaust Museum murderer isn’t the first one to think so. Iran’s now re-elected president is quite vocal that he believes the Holocaust is a myth propagated by the Jewish people. He said so at his recent U.N. speech making him what has been termed by some Jewish organizations as the most dangerous Anti-Semite in the world today. So while the Museum murderer isn’t the only one to believe that the Holocaust never happened, he apparently saw it as his right to defame it, and to do his part to try to eliminate the memory of the holocaust. This came out of his distorted sense of “reality.”
Our realities can be very subjective when we have no real grasp of Truth. Yeshua said, “I am the truth” (John 14:6). Truth isn’t about facts, Truth is all that Yeshua is! He is objective Truth. But just as it is “true” that “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3), it is also true that no one will see Yeshua as the objective and ultimate Truth unless they are born again by the Spirit of God. You can only really understand this by the Spirit, just as “no one can say Yeshua is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 12:3).
Our sense of reality can be quite subjective. We can make up our own reality to be what we want it to be. It is a
“It makes no logical sense to say the Holocaust never happened, except to a demonically inspired mind with intentions toward more violence.”
fabricated “reality” that the Jews invented the Holocaust and that no such violent horror was ever perpetrated against them by the Nazis. Why would anyone, let alone a whole nation of people, make that up about themselves? Why would any people decide to create a story of such weakness and abject victimization about themselves? Besides, Jews live all over the world. How could there possibly be a planned agreement of such a lie? It makes no logical sense to say the Holocaust never happened, except to a demonically inspired mind with intentions toward more violence. It is ironic, is it not, that the man with the rifle in the museum, in his rage against the Jewish position that such violence against the Jews as the Holocaust ever took place, sought to end what he saw as the lie of the violence of the Holocaust by bringing about more violence?
Another man, a Muslim, killed a soldier in our Armed Forces in a recruiting office recently. He fully admitted to killing the soldier but does not see it as murder. Why? Because he feels that because Muslims are being killed in the war overseas by American armies his action is “Islamically justified” and therefore, killing the soldier was not murder. I have no doubt that this man does not reflect the feelings of most Muslims. It is scary though that anyone is so out of touch with what murder is and isn’t, claiming it is justified by his religious beliefs.
One thing we can be sure of, while this kind of thinking may spring from religion, it would not come from one who is a true born again follower of Yeshua. Yeshua is the One who told us to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). He also said, “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also” (:39). He is the One who told His disciples when they wanted to call down fire from heaven in retaliation against rejection, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of” (Luke 9:53-55), meaning you’re of another spirit than My Father’s Spirit. We can be sure that any religiously motivated violence is not from Yeshua or His Father.
Nevertheless, these two news events, so close to one another, left me feeling…. well, lonely. I had no Jewish people around me that day to share my feelings. I felt somewhat sad. Sorrowful. Plus I wondered, are these isolated incidents? Or portents of things to come? I asked, “Lord, have you anything to say to me today?” hoping for a ray of Son-shine to burst through the clouds into my heavy heart.
A short time later a delivery man came to the house I was visiting. He carried in several pieces of new furniture that had been ordered and now, as the owner of the house was on the phone, while he waited for her to sign his delivery slip, we got to talking. We spoke only briefly. I asked if they were busy, what with the economy and all. He told me his company had laid off the guys who were there less than the years he’d been there, so he was working hard, making up for the men who were no longer on the delivery crew. Yes, he was quite busy, doing the work of several. His eyes were clear and he seemed to have a countenance that told me, “This one belongs to Yeshua.” So I waded out to test the waters, mentioning the Lord. “You gotta just know how to trust in the Lord these days,” I said. He came right back with saying simply, “You sure do. I have faith.” So I asked him if he knows the Lord. He affirmed that he did and I told him that I had been pretty sure he did as I could see it in his countenance. He kind of glowed a little, in a spiritual sense. He had an air of peace about him. Even joyful, despite working so hard. My telling him I could see Jesus on his face seemed to be meaningful to him as he smiled and thanked me as if I’d just given him the biggest compliment.
“My name is Lonnie,” I said to which he responded, “I’m Richard” as he stuck out his arm to shake hands. I said, “Glad to meet you, brother,” and genuinely meant it. The brother part especially. It was a Jesus-moment! Ever have one of those times when you just know Jesus is in the middle with you and someone, even someone you didn’t know moments before? Time stops for just a few seconds and there you are, just standing on Kingdom ground together. I think we both felt it. The lady of the house came back just then and signed his delivery slip and we said a quick but warm goodbye as he went out the door.
After he left, I went off by myself for a few minutes, a bit teary eyed, to thank God that He had just sent me someone to lift my thoughts back into the Kingdom again. It didn’t take much. Just connecting with someone
“Just connecting with someone who has the same Holy Spirit inside of him that I do was enough to bring me right back to my joy.”
who has the same Holy Spirit inside of him that I do was enough to bring me right back to my joy. He didn’t have to be Jewish. He just needed to know Yeshua. Being even briefly with someone with whom you share the same precious wonderful Lord is strengthening. No doubt if we had talked further we’d find out that our hearts resonate with the same desire to be in His presence, to worship Him, to please Him and to bless Him and make Him smile. Judging from our moment of brother-sister connection, I suspect he also felt it was a tiny divine gift. I hope so. I know I did.
This encounter with Richard felt as if God was letting me know that we are never really alone in this world, because God has His people everywhere. When Elijah felt all alone, believing that he was the only one left that was still serving God, God told him He still had “7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed unto Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18). We may feel alone at times, but we are part of a great family of those whose knees will not bow to fear and whose mouths will “kiss the Son” only, giving “homage” to Him (Psalm 2:12) no matter what happens.
Just “fellowshipping” with someone, even for a brief moment, whom you know gives praise and faithful honor to the Lord has the effect of blessing you both. It’s an entirely supernatural thing that takes place between you. Something happens inside that resonates through your soul that sets your feet firmly in Kingdom territory where you stand together with your brothers and sisters as a unified army. I don’t care what difference we may have in doctrine or how we do this or that differently. When it comes right down to it, as a wise woman of God once told me, “Those who are really the Lord’s will love one another.” I’ve found that to be so true.
Even if it feels like the earth is spinning a little off its kilter some times, in times of difficulty or stress, God allows us to be an encouragement to each other. Just knowing there was a brother to take my hand for one moment and look into my eyes with a purity that comes only through Yeshua so that we connected in the Spirit, reminded me that there is so much more than what happens in the world on a daily basis. No matter what stresses we may experience, from God’s perspective, it’s a “momentary, light affliction (that) is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17, my emphasis).
Our economy is weak, and changes are taking place for which the outcome is uncertain. But we can be certain that we are part of something so much more meaningful and far greater than what’s taking place in the here and now. Bad things may take place, but we are people of God’s goodness! He has given us an incredible promise that is as good as He is: “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose“(Rom 8:28). He reminds us of that promise and others through the fellowship we can experience with one another, as we share the glory He imparts to us in small ways and in greater ways. Though I may have felt some sadness and sorrow for a short while, I remain in peace “for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18)! Good verse to memorize and tuck inside your heart.
I got all this out of meeting Richard, as I thought about it. It was also a truly one new man experience. I am a
“We don’t have to be alike for us to be “one” in the Lord.”
woman, he is a man. I’m white, he is black, I’m Jewish, he’s not. We undoubtedly have different generational histories and some cultural differences. But none of that matters. All those walls are meaningless in Yeshua. We don’t have to be alike for us to be “one” in the Lord. When Richard, or whomever, loves and belongs to the same Lord and Savior that we do, we’re part of the same Family of God and we’re both members of the Lord’s Body! So in Him, we belong to one another!
Our relationships with our brothers and sisters in the Lord are eternal. Therefore, we should cherish them with eternal love and honor. One of my favorite verses is one that fills me with joy and gratefulness to “…Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 1:24). Blameless! Great joy! In His presence!! What more can we ask for?
Well, one more thing we could ask for. To share it with those we love. I have begun to think of how we will stand together with our loved ones before Him on that day! In His glory. Blameless. With great joy! I never tire of saying those words.
I had a conversation with my sister-in-law on the phone the other day. We have shared much of the Lord together and love each other very much. We used to live in the same city. She now lives in Texas; I now live in Florida. We were talking about the prophesies that are coming forth, such as that which John Kilpatrick shared when Sid interviewed him during an It’s Supernatural! show. Pastor Kilpatrick’s isn’t the first we are hearing such a prophetic word from. If these words are coming from the Lord, He is saying that if America continues to press Israel to divide their Land (really His land!), then we will reap what we sow and our own land will be divided, perhaps by an earthquake that will cause the Mississippi River to split our country into two land masses. Needless to say, that would change more than just geography.
It remains to be seen whether this actually comes to pass or not. It is not for us to fear, but to be prepared in case it should happen. In the mean time we can pray for God to have mercy on our nation, for our leaders to have wisdom and godly insight, including into the true nature of dividing Israel, and for God to prepare us all for what might come.
As my sister-in-law and I talked I was feeling how much I love her, and that she is not only my sister by marriage but my sister in the Lord with whom I will one day “stand in the presence of (His) glory, blameless with great joy” (Ibid). But what if an earthquake or something else did take place and we aren’t able to communicate? Just in case it actually did happen, we committed to continue to pray for each other and for each of our families and to always love each other. I’m not speaking doom by any means because I see such events as God’s “shakings” (see Hebrew 12:26-28) with a goal, as His always is, toward redemption. Still, it seemed good to affirm our love for one another. Just in case.
Yesterday I got an email from a friend who also happens to live in Texas with whom I keep in touch periodically. I found myself no longer taking for granted being able to email with her. The possibility that I might not be able to has made me grateful for being able to communicate with her and others through email now. It put me in touch with the love I do feel for her, even though we’ve not been together that much. Still, we’ve known each other for years and I genuinely care about her and her family. So I wrote and told her so. All these signs of the times have caused me to really appreciate my friends and family, with a new awareness that I really do love them, even if they aren’t in my life on an all-the-time basis. The Lord has bound us up in the bundle together.
So, keeping in mind that Yeshua did warn us that in the end times “most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12), we’re not going to be among those cold people, right? Now seems to be as good a time as ever to practice loving others. So I’m suggesting that you tell the people you care about that you love them. Why not tell them now rather than possibly wish you had later. Affirm your affection for them to the people in your life. Let people know, even those who cross your paths only as often as a delivery man might, that you appreciate them, and the work they do. Thanks the waitress for her diligent work. Leave a note of thanks for your mailman. Call the check out person by name if they have a name tag on. I did that a while back and this woman has remained my check-out friend since. They don’t have to be Believers. The world is starved for love. Kind of like “Pay it forward,” we’re loving it forward! Extend the Lord’s love all around you and watch what comes back to you. Be aware of what it will do to enlarge your own heart — to become more like Yeshua’s heart.
By the way, dear readers. When I write these articles, I somehow have the sense that I’m actually talking to you, that I’m sharing with real live, breathing, Lord-loving people. I write with you in mind, not just to say something. I ask the Lord what He might want to say to you. So if you are touched or encouraged by the articles, consider it as coming from Him. Just thought I’d let you know, I care about you.
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2009.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.