To Show What Love is


By Beth DeSeelhorst

Take what you want from the 1984 Foreigner song, I Want to Know What Love Is, but my take is LOVE that transcends human passion, love that puts sexual ecstasy to shame and buries it under the de-mystified love that God gave us and that Jesus’ death proved to us. Evangelism is nothing without this kind of LOVE.

Evangelism can be a stadium full of emotional highs, and it can live under the radar throughout our daily lives. Both can be of equal value in the long run. I have lived so many of my days smothered in radar-absorbent material—stealth that God couldn’t penetrate. After all, He isn’t superman. But God showed Himself in bits and pieces anyway, good gifts given to me all along the way. They all made an impression on me then. Yes, even then. Take a moment and pause: Evangelism takes many forms…

…Thirty years ago, I’m working at a large company in Roseville. A young man reads his Bible at his desk during lunch break. He’s made fun of, and I hear noises from co-workers that what he’s doing isn’t appropriate for the workplace. I respect him, though I don’t defend him. But I remember, and defend him now. 

…Forty-five years ago, during a difficult, personal time, I take my lunch break to Sutter’s Fort State Park across the street, sit down on the grass, lean against a tree, and eat a tasteless sandwich. A young hippie-type guy walks toward me, and I mutter under my breath, ‘oh-pleeze-leave-me-alone’. But he stops and asks, “Do you know Jesus?” I say, “Leave me alone.” And he does. But I remember, and answer him now, “Yes, I do.”

…Cold winter rides on the city bus to my junior high school. Old lady across the aisle asks me to sit with her, which I do, against young, shy instincts. On this unusually cold day, she takes off one of her gloves, gives it to me and says, “Now we can sit together no matter how cold the weather and be one whole (half-warm, half cool) every day on your way to school.” I take the glove in silence because her generosity bewilders me. Is she an angel from heaven? I remember her now, and love her still.

All this and much, much more for the call of my faith: to live out my life in Christ.

So many of our insignificant moments can be monumental to the life and times of someone who might be unaware of, or even be fighting, the pull of God. These moments will be remembered though. Sometime, somewhere, someplace, your daily life will help them know God in the long run.