I know y’all…
Y’all come here every time… thinking what will she say next? And I know the title has you intrigued.
How can a “no-name” girl from South Georgia have the secret to world peace? I believe the secret to world peace is actually very simple, and yet so very complex.
Before we dive in to my wonderful “revelation” on world peace that God brought to my attention recently, I need to explain two things.
First, I attend a group Bible study once a month with some very lovely friends. I was invited by the “leader” to come and have known her for about two years. The other women in the group? Never met them before the first meeting. But these are the types of ladies that instantly make you feel welcome. You’re vegan? We’ll plan an entire menu just for you! You’re new to the majority of the group? We’ll make sure you’re included! I’m very blessed to have a “once-a-month” group Bible study with such ladies, as well as a weekly connect group with the same “type” of young women–the ones that instantly make you feel welcome, loved, and cherished.
In this “once-a-month” Bible study, the leader decided that we focus on a specific word. With it being February, the month of love, that was our word: LOVE. The leader gave us a print out concerning love in the Bible, and she also gave us a daily Scripture reading plan… all verses about love. As I prayerfully approached this group, I asked God, “What do you want me to learn? What do I need to know about Your love?” Many, many more questions like these fell off my lips as I sought what God was trying to tell me through this group and in this season of life.
The odd thing was… God never answered. He was silent. I didn’t feel as if I had much to contribute to the group discussion because… well… I wasn’t hearing anything from God.
What’s wrong, God? Is something wrong with my questions? Am I not asking the right ones? Am I not meant to share because I’m the only single one in the group? Do I not know enough about love?
Fast forward to today–the day that I’m writing this blog post–February 23.
I co-chaperoned a trip to the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. On the way up to Atlanta, we listened to music. We joked and laughed. We called out the states on license plates that were not from Georgia. We planned out exactly what we would order at Yeah! Burger (and I was super excited to find that they had a Vegan Quarter Pounder special for the month of February–it was delicious by the way!). They oooh-ed and aaaaaah-ed at the huge skyscrapers they saw and were amazed at the amount of traffic and just people in general! It was truly an experience to see this trip through their eyes.
But what impacted me and stayed with me was what we saw in the museum. From pictures of nonviolent protests (both in the past and present day) to Martin Luther King Jr to Jim Crowe laws to the Freedom Riders to bombings due to efforts to desegregate to civil/human rights issues of 2018… even a “simulator” of what it would have been like had a person of color tried to eat in a restaurant that was for “whites only” way back when…
I was shocked. I was humbled. I was speechless.
I looked around at the students that had come. All different colors. All rode in one vehicle. All listened to music, laughed, played games, planned food, exchanged amazement at the sites and sounds.
Right then, it clicked with me. I knew what I was supposed to gain from focusing on this word LOVE.
I can honestly say that we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for love… the love that certain people had for others that influenced their actions which influenced the course of history. And for those people, like Martin Luther King Jr., I am forever grateful.
Because, as I look at my students, the love that I have for them seems to threaten to make my heart explode. Every. Single. One. No matter what color they are. No matter what gender they are. No matter what their abilities are. No matter what.
The ride home from Atlanta seemed to be the same for them (lots of YouTube, video games, jokes, etc) but vastly different for me. I reflected on my experience today. I reflected on the experiences of others whose stories I viewed or listened to today. I reflected on how far we have come but how far we have yet to go. I reflected on how I could be a part of ensuring that every person on this very planet could feel LOVED.
In Atlanta traffic, God spoke.
Not in my yellow recliner at home with my favorite coffee and a vase of flowers on the side table.
Not on my wooden porch swing overlooking fields and pastures with my Bible and favorite book in hand.
Not in the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel.
In Atlanta traffic.
God said, “Macey, the way you make sure people feel loved… is to love them. Love the ones that I put in your path, and love them well. Tell those you come in contact with what I’ve said about loving others, and let me handle the rest.“
God has been saying that a lot lately…. “Do what I ask. Let me handle the rest. Let it go.”
You may disagree with me… you may sigh in exasperation… but I believe that the secret to world peace is love.
But here’s what I know…
God will empower us to show the people that He has placed in our paths the unconditional, sacrificial love of Jesus. The only way that we can do this is through Him because that is an unnatural response for us as humans (Matthew 19:26).
And if we focus on loving those that are in our paths, then we can change our world.
And changing our world will most definitely change the world at large.
I want to leave you with some verses about love… the ones that have stood out to me personally in my monthly Bible study. They are:
“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked Him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.'”
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.“
1 Peter 4:8
I’m just overwhelmed by these sweet passages of Scripture. I’m to love others as I would love myself (and lemme tell ya… there’s a whole lot of self-love going on over here with this gal). Compared to how I love myself, I have A LOT of work to do in the area of loving others in the same way.
And I’m supposed to love so much that there are outstanding debts of it! That’s a tall order but one that I am ready and willing to make happen. I’m ready to love so much so that a multitude of sins are covered by it. Who’s with me?
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(For a full list of the “love” verses, click here).