Sol Islnds PoolNow that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. (1 Peter 1:22) (NIV)

It was a simple scene—a dilapidated mobile home, a dying tree, and a rope-swing. The Holy Spirit used these three elements to expose a rotting cavity in my soul. 

Lightening had shattered the top half of the tree until it looked like a hunched man. Any decent arborist would have cut the thing down.

But what about the swing? There must have been a child that treasured the stumpy oak. The rundown house hinted that the tree-swing may be the kid’s only solace. He or she would grow up with fond memories of the dear bent trunk—the eyesore I would’ve removed.

My fixation with perfection leaves a void in my heart. If a tree isn’t symmetrical, I want it chopped. If a human isn’t beautiful or rational, I want them to change. When a disciple backslides, I disregard them. I only love God’s creation when it measures up to my judgmental standards.

My heart needs to repent because real love doesn’t care if the recipient has value. It simply overflows the goodwill it receives from God, without regard to where the overabundance spills.

While serving in the Solomon Islands, Melanesian boys led me to their favorite hiking destination in the jungle. An emerald pool overflowed crystal water down a waterfall and into another fern-laced swimming hole.

From the purity of God’s being his love overflows my heart. For me to look down and decide the next pool is undeserving goes against every natural law. It dams up the river that I would drink from in heaven.

Prayer: Jesus, help me pour love into whomever you put beside me.