Wow, what a great past few days. Seriously, I’ve had so much fun bowling, playing volleyball, seeing family, and just visiting with everyone. Sad to see all the Baylor women go back to rush, and even more disturbing is Laura, Carrie, and Katie all in one sorority. Too much kindness, you ladies might actually do something remarkable. Well, I’ve gotten the chance to see at least half of you these past few days which is awesome. There are a good handful of you that I haven’t seen, and not to name names, but Bryce, Stacie, Lissa, and David where have you been? I’ll be in town for until at least the January 14 and maybe even until the 18th so there is still plenty of time. To my A&M friends, I can’t wait to get back to FHK and even Sbisa (we all know it’s not because of the food, just all that good Northside loving).

Brad Holmes once told me something very important at a church camp. Looking me square in the eyes, he explained the fullness of Jesus’ greatest commandment. In Matthew, Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, and with all of our mind. Yes, I know most of you have heard the 37th, 38th, and 39th verse of the 22nd chapter of Matthew enough to repeat it word for word. What I had failed to see and what Brad told me was this: Reese Hopkins needs love very different than the love that you need. I’m an entirely different person with entirely different problems and struggles that I handle in an entirely different way. So when we’re called to love others, Jesus did not want us to love everyone the exact same way we love ourselves. The quality of the love, the unending forgiveness we extended to ourselves, the refusal to judge is the love Jesus wants us to give to others. This is how we are known as Disciples of Christ, our freedom to love others according to their needs, not to what is comfortable for me. Each time I went beyond my comfort zone to love someone, the blessings overflowed my heart to joy, real joy. So, why is there hesitation to love others? To love someone according to his needs requires an incredible amount of vulnerability. Too often I want to stay closed off, and I don’t give love and even sometimes receive other people’s love. Where this self defense impulse comes from I do not know, but it’s roots are buried deep in pride of the most selfish kind. If there’s anything I’ve discovered lately, it’s that I don’t want myself anymore. I need something higher, something greater than me to rescue me from this hell I’ve created. As humans we have such so much unrealized good and with each day that passes, I now more fully how much good can be done through me. I say done through me because it’s not really me at all doing any of the good but a loving God who deeply cares for me and my soul. It’s to Him that I want to surrender my pride and choose love, choose vulnerability, choose freedom… choose Him. Keep Waiting, I’ll be right on time.