Love Within Our Grasp

The news feed sucks me dry. My heart hits the floor as I utter what is becoming my most common prayer: “Jesus, come quickly.”

It takes all I have to respond some days. For it is so much easier to ignore another’s pain than to jump in and volunteer my heart to bleed.

Friends, God has laid it on my heart to pray this prayer lately. I’m striving to claim it as my own:

May God break my heart completely
so that the whole world falls in.

~ Mother Teresa

And He’s been reminding me to not walk away. I need to know when another heart has been battered. When someone I love has found themselves on the front lines. They’re so close to the action, victory does not shine bright on the horizon.

My soul longs to reach out to them. Because if there’s something I’ve learned through it all, there’s nothing quite like love.

Love is salve for the soul.
The gorilla glue of the heart.
It heals. Protects. Brings hope. Always. *

Social media has helped spread news like no other. Within minutes I can learn of a friend who is traveling on a road so rocky they need others to help renew their weary bones. And I can reach out by a simple press of a button.

Friends, it can give but can also take away. It connects us and yet offers the scapegoat of disconnect. And I’m starting to realize the sea of the internet is too vast. Words wash away as quick as a keystroke. I can extend my arm in love, but it gets swiped away with a simple scroll down.

And yet many of us still fear reaching out at all. We freeze at the thought because the words of encouragement we think of seem so minuscule.

Having been through enough pain personally, let me tell you honestly:

  • It’s not your job to fix it.
  • You don’t need the right words that magically make it all better.
  • They want you to see them. See the ugly they are walking through. And love them through it.

My mind keeps going back to that prayer He’s laid on my heart. Because I want to mean it. Put it into action as far and as deep as a stay-at-home homeschooling mom can. And I catch a glimpse of a letter exchanged with our Compassion child and wonder…perhaps my world is larger than I thought.

Regardless, one thing is certain:
Love can be sprawled out across a page.

I shared with you the other day one of the greatest gifts I received from my great-grandmother: Her love letters to me while I was off at college. And it got me thinking…

What if I were to extend my heart in a tangible way? Maybe I can show love through a lost art form…Can I let others know I see them and love them relentlessly even if we’re miles apart?

Let me tell you, friends, He is faithful. Slowly and surely (because He knows that’s the way I need it), He’s revealing the way to achieve it. And as of now? He’s showing me that the world He wants to fall into my heart is right here…within my very grasp.

They arrived in the mail a few days ago. I didn’t even have to stand in a crowded store aisle and peruse them.

As I looked through them, I could see faces of friends I haven’t seen in years. Sure I see them on the cold screen. I can tell you what their children wore their first day of school. But it’s been too long since I’ve hugged their neck. Touched them. Too long since we’ve exchanged our hearts in raw form.

What if I dropped them a card and told them what I see when I think of them? What if I wrote down the prayer I’ve promised to offer up on their behalf? I could send it off as a gift they could hold in their hands.

  • Could I extend my heart that way?
  • Could I show His love in something that simple?
  • Would it expand His love in me?

Friends, I’m going to take this step. It’s a start. These cards are being sent…and I know this is such a small step. Only He knows where the next step will lead…

Father, break my heart completely so I can fit my whole world in…

How about you, friend? How do you manage to extend your heart to another? Especially one you might not share a time zone with. I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

* To read more of what love does, I Corinthians 13

PLEASE NOTE: Dayspring provided these cards for my review but did not tell me what to say. All opinions shared here are my own and were ones I just had to share with you. What can I say…I love Dayspring!

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34 thoughts on “Love Within Our Grasp

  1. Ah, “break my heart completely”. I so hear your cry….

    Since my daughters accident I can’t make it through church, reading the newspaper or reading facebook status’ without crying for someone else’s pain. Thanks for motivating me to respond to God’s callings to reach out and love on others!

    • Love your sensitive spirit, Laurie. Are you like me sometimes and want to shut it all down? Sadly I’m learning that’s not the guarding our hearts command He’s talking about… thanks for sharing with me, friend.

  2. Yes, yes, and yes! There are so many things I want to say about what you’ve written. Mostly: Amen! You’re right. We don’t have to fix everything or have the perfect words. There’s something about the tangible, hand-written encouragement, too. I’ve been thinking on how I will share my review…what story, what context. I loved reading this angle. Just lovely, Nikki. Thank you:)

  3. Nikki, Thank you. I sat with a group of women yesterday, face-to-face, and it is hard to stay there — love well — let alone to feel His love in me is enough for me to reach around this vast internet, to touch these lives He puts in front of us. He tugs at our hearts, and I am encouraged by your reminder that it is not up to us to fix what is broken. It is His. But He will equip us with everything we need to be used by Him, by His will and grace. And your heart’s urge to reach out, tangibly, through paper love-letters makes me smile. I have had cards out on my counter for a week now, and then I put them away. . .And I will get them out again, my sister, today. Thank you. {And that prayer by Mother Theresa . . wow. Just. wow.} Bless you, friend.

    • Oh to be used by Him to comfort another. What an honor, don’t you think? I don’t know why I shy away from the chance sometimes… I’m enjoying filling out my cards with tears being shed. What joy! Thanks for sharing with me today, friend.

  4. Compassion was at the center of Jesus’ ministry. We must have true compassion before we can live like He lived. I’ve found that God is able to use me in extraordinary ways when I am saturated by His love and compassion.

    • You are so right! Compassion was at the center…I love all the moments in the Bible where it talks about Jesus’ heart being softened. And I can’t think of a better way to keep our hearts soft than to saturate it with His love and compassion. Thank you for stopping by and sharing with me!

  5. I so relate to your comment about the news feed sucking you dry, and then the reminder that it is not our job to fix it…your willingness to enter into the pain of another inspires me, and it encourages me to see how God is showing you a tangible way to encourage…such a blessing, and a gift, you are, Nikki 🙂 love and hugs to you 🙂

  6. I have felt the same way and in my group of friends online, those I know are hurting, I send a card to them. Something to encourage them. Brighten their day. Something that shows them…God loves them. You are indeed a blessing to so many, sweet friend.

    • I should have known you do this already, Rosann. What a perfect practice! I hate to think of all the times I thought of sending a card and didn’t (I have sent cards, don’t get me wrong but you know what I mean). No time better to fix it than the present! To God be the glory…

  7. I had some health issues that kept me sidelined for several months. Cards blessed me like nothing else. Something precious about being remembered. Great suggestion, Nikki.

    BTW, I love the Wooly cards 🙂

    • I’ve had moments where cards felt like they lifted me up, too, Susan. I’m so thrilled you have experienced it, too, although it hurts my heart to know you’ve known pain… You can’t help but smile with a Wooly card, don’t you think? 🙂

  8. Thank you. I have a pile of DaySpring cards (which I receive every month). I really must begin this adventure. It really is a lost art and one that is so needed. I know that when I receive a note of encouragement in the mail, whether handwritten or in a card, it really blesses my heart.

  9. “Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.” (prov. 25:25)
    I’m sure your kindness will be felt in your words on a card as it is in your words on the screen, Nikki.
    Thanks for the gulp 🙂

    • Oh to be used by Him. What an honor….striving to keep my heart pliable enough so He oozes right out of me. I’ll have to claim that Proverb as my own while I take this step — thank you, Kelli!

  10. I started sending notes via “snail mail” recently. While I don’t always know how they are received, I assume that people are excited to get them because I am when I get a real-live letter. I let these people know that I’m praying for them and how I’m praying. It meant so much when I received a note like this after my second daughter was diagnosed with JDM.

    • It does mean so much to receive a note, doesn’t it, Nikki. I’m so sorry you have learned that the hard way, though. Love that you take the initiative to do this! I’m going to join you! thank you!

  11. I was thinking as I sat with a friend and just held her hand recently that there is nothing like the ability to touch another person. Not just physically but in a tangible way. From a written note to taking dinner to a friend. From a phone call to just holding a hand. Even an email or text is still at the center of it…reaching out and touching. Thank you sweet friend for your words today. Blessings.

  12. A long time lover of the written word, and an advocate of cards and letters, this post has reminded me that it has been too long since I have put my heart and prayers to pen and lined paper. Why do I hesitate? I think because it because in this faced paced, facebook world, I often do not get many return letters. But really that should not matter right? We encourage and share and take time for them..not ourselves.
    Here’s to cards and the written word.
    Cheers,
    Leah

    • Oh yes. I need to go into this with no expectations. I’m just going to give. We can do this together, Leah. Let’s spread His love through that lost art form!
      thrilled you stopped by and shared with me today, thank you!

  13. Your heart is so open here in these words. Lately I’ve spent hours bearing the burden of others’ pain, and although I’m left wrung out, I can return to Christ again to get full up again. It can be a blessing to share another’s pain when we’re loving from Christ’s deep well of love.

    • It can be a blessing, can’t it. He rewards us so well for oozing His love on another. Yes, let’s help those we love find their way to the peace that passes our understanding. We can help spread out the pain if we do it together anyway…

  14. My family knows I’d much rather they sign a box of cheez-its than send me a birthday card. 🙂 That being said, I can definitely get down with personal notes of encouragement, in a virtual world where clicking and scrolling make each sentence last only a second or less. This was my first year in a long time without a Facebook on my birthday, and even though there were fewer “Happy Birthday’s”, each one meant quite a bit, and I treasured the moments I shared with those who connected. 🙂

    May we reach out to people in new ways this week with God’s Love and presence. Good stuff, for sure.

  15. Nikki, I’m so blessed to hear your heart! I love that you have this compassion for others and desire to encourage. It tugs at my soul…wanting to give more, think of myself less. And I love this idea so much, that I think I need to buy a stack of cards to make readily available for when the Lord puts someone on my heart. If I have them, then I’ll probably do it, right?! Thanks for sharing and all your words of encouragement to me in the online world! Your words and heart are a huge gift here! Blessings dear friend!

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