“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. “1 John 4:11-12.
Have you ever had that “melted heart” feeling? For instance, maybe the first time you experienced love…your first kiss, your first elementary school crush, the first time you held a puppy, or on your first date….that flipping heart feeling some people call “butterflies”. The emotion of pure happiness becomes visceral – you feel the truest sensation of love in your heart. I find it so fascinating that the most moving emotion we as humans are capable of experiencing manifests in the center of our chest, right in our heart. The same spot that generates a spontaneous energy that causes our hearts to beat…and thus our blood circulates, and we breathe, and live. Why not feel true love in our liver? or our kidney? Or our nose?? What is it about this specific emotion that we feel it right in the center of our body where in fact our pure life is sustained? Without that precious current originating in that mysterious place, we would have no heartbeat and thus no other part of our body can survive.
We do many things on a day to day basis, but I bet for most of us, if we could create that feeling of melted heart happiness, we would seek it regularly. That is why we seek love with one another. It is why we do things for our children and families, to see their happiness and joy emanating from their hearts. We long to hold on to the “first love” of our relationships, even as our marriages age, and we grow older. We are all still young at heart – our bodies may age, but our minds will always crave the true love that we experience throughout our lives in so many different circumstances.
When I first came to know Christ, that melted heart feeling grabbed me and held tight for days. I grew up in church, attending regularly, but as a child I never truly knew exactly what it meant to “be saved.” I read the Bible, and I was confirmed into the Methodist church when I was in 5th grade. I attended youth group and Sunday worship. My parents did a great job of planting the seeds that would later grow into a beautiful relationship with Christ.
But truthfully, I was a young adult when I first experienced the powerful presence of God in my life. I was working in a lab, and came to know an amazing woman who was in love with Jesus. She talked about him all the time and I loved listening. I found her candid discussion about Jesus so interesting. She talked about him like he lived next door. ‘Jesus this and Jesus that…’
One weekend I was at work on a Saturday finishing up a project and I was in terrible pain (endometriosis, which I have written on before…). I had taken my typical cocktail of motrin and tylenol and had a hot pad stuck to my belly, but nothing was working that day. I wanted to leave but I had a 45 minute commute and I didn’t think I was up for driving. My “Jesus” friend came to my lab bench and asked me what was wrong, so I told her. This was nothing new for me, I was sure it would pass at some point….but I was miserable. She simply reached out and placed her hand on my belly and prayed softly. I will never forget how hot her hands felt. At the moment she looked up and concluded her prayer, my pain was gone.
So some may say this was just a coincidence – maybe my pain medicine finally kicked in. Maybe the heat was from the hot pad I had been using. I told myself this at first. But the greater truth is this: I felt a presence with me like none I had ever known. My heart was truly melting because I knew that Jesus was right there with me. He was looking at me – and had been looking at me – that whole time. He did not want me to be in pain. He felt my pain. He brought that friend to me and worked right through her hands and with Him I was free. It was about the pain, sure, but more than that, I was moved into His arms that day. I cried and asked him right then to never leave my heart. I wanted Him there with me – in my heart – all the time from that day forward. And from that moment I knew that He would never let go of me no matter what direction my life path led.
Feeling the presence of Jesus is the most intense heart melting emotion I have ever experienced. It is like no other emotion you can describe. It is your first kiss, times a million. It is your first date, to the moon and back. It is your first true love, to eternity. No other can replace it or compare. You want to spend your life experiencing the love He brings and there is no substitute for it.
When I am working, and facing challenges of sadness, death, pain, suffering….I am always moved and awestruck that I feel the heart melting presence of Jesus in such deep and heavy circumstances. Who could believe that I can feel this same heart melting love when I am with a family who is suffering the loss of their loved one? And yet it is His presence there that keeps us all safe and comforted in such difficult times. This journey called life was never promised to be easy for any of us. But isn’t it a comfort to know that Jesus is right there too? Looking at you directly, feeling your pain, and holding you up when you don’t even know it! He loves us just like that….plainly, simply, the most perfect love. Starting right in the middle of your chest, in your own precious heart.
“If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians Chapter 13