The Fauxtography Project, A Pictureless Part Four: Really Love People

( Romans 12:3-9 ) Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.

A couple months ago, I posted some thoughts from my study of Romans. But since then, God has not left his words void in my heart. I've wrestled with many things since my initial study of Romans back in June, and I do not know if I can succinctly explain what I am learning and convicted of and what I see in myself that angers me. But I will try.

( Romans 12:6-10 ) So if God has given you the ability to prophecy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Cling to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 

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It was a Friday night. Steve and I were in The Pearl on a date. We walked out of Starbucks, lattes in hand, dressed to the nines, and headed to window shop our way through Anthropologie. And there he was. I knew what was coming because it happens on almost every date night in downtown. 'I'm sorry guys. I'm trying to get ( this amount ) for the hostel-- it's on the corner of ( this ) street-- I need to make it there before 11pm and I only have ( this amount ) so far. I haven't had a shower in ( this many ) days, and. . . ' His voice trailed off as I stood there taking everything in. His eyes were red and he looked tired. He was my age. And there I stood in my fancy clothes with my expensive, unneeded drink, with my nice-smelling husband. There I stood in my own little world of population me.

( I've wrestled for days with how to write this next part. ) 

That night, I knew we had enough cash on hand ( we never carry cash! ) to get him into that hostel for the night and I pulled the money out of Steve's wallet and laid it in his hand and said, 'Go! Go right now!' I will never ever forget the look on his face nor the way that he grabbed his backpack and made a mad dash across the street.

I don't write that publicly so that people say, 'wow. Sarah Branine is so nice. Too bad she lost her reward in heaven for posting her good deed in public.' No, I'm writing it because it shows the lack of generosity in my heart. If I were a person who truly loved others, this instance would not have shaken me like it did. It would be the norm instead of the exception.

I've been thinking about this whole 'really love people' thing in how it relates to my children and husband too. Do I show genuine affection? Do I plead for them through prayer?

My mind has gone a million different directions with this 'really love people' thought and I am sorry that this post is so disjointed. Let me throw one more log on the fire-- as a mama and wife, nobody else has the same opportunities to show love like I do. Nobody else knows my children and husband as I do. Nobody else can stay up and burn the midnight oil to prepare them a special treat, to make a handmade gift, to write a little love note, to wash that extra load of laundry, or to find that favorite truck that's burried in the deepest recesses of the toy pit. Nobody else but me.

I think I have some work to do.


  1. I have observed you doing just these things and it blesses and encourages (and challenges) my heart!

  2. Please keep writing about this, talking about this. I am in the same season of life as you....this is my struggle too...I pray to know the work that he has for me...could it be that THIS...THIS DAY is the work he has for me. I keep looking around for some big, grand, taxing thing...."go to Africa" or "sell all that you have and give every last thing to the poor and needy." I have SO far to go on this journey...SOOOOOOO far. I have a sign hanging by the door way out to the car that says, "love wins." And it does...every single time.

  3. I'm just reading Radical by David Platte - have you read it? Ouch. We need to be radical. But I fail. often.

  4. Mom, I'm not sure who you were observing, but it couldn't have been me :) Thank you for being a mom who prays for her children-- that means so much to me.

  5. Valley girl,
    thank you so much for your encouragement. And, for letting me know that I am not in the trench by myself. I need to put up your sign "love wins"-- that is so beautiful and so theologically sound.

    Kelly-- Steve has read it-- I think our copy is on loan to someone currently, but yes! I need to read it!

  6. Written so beautifully - I'm so happy I found you through foodloveswriting. You now have a new fan. :)


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  8. Hi friend. I was going through my old pins during Rocco's nap today and found this post. I'm glad you wrote it, in 2012, when you were wrestling with truth in Romans, so I could read it then but also so I could read it now. I love hearing the Holy Spirit in your words and seeing how, even many states away!, I have been loved by you, the same person wrestling with a desire to love well and better in this post. He is so good and so faithful! He grows us! It encourages me so much.


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