Simple Extravagance

Simple extravagance is a phrase I used this week a couple times to describe the felt experience of being in the presence of friends who get you, care for you and lavish love freely.

The word simple means easily understood or done, or the state of being uncomplicated.  It’s not without sacrifice, but it is done freely with a knowing way of this is the thing to do.  And extravagance means a lack of restraint in spending money or resources.  Again, there is a freedom in giving yourself OR your resources away.  It’s a chosen action to be generous—with time, with money, with kindness.

I saw this in my friend Ashley and her husband Eric.  They give love lavishly.  They do it with their kids.  The back and forth echo of a tear-filled plea met with an embrace and provision.  They do it with their community.  This is seen in their open-door policy to friends and neighbors—when water is turned off or loneliness is felt; there is a—you’re welcome here mindset.  They did it with me.  I felt it with the gracious understanding of my sleepy, tearful, sluggish way of being.  I felt it with the gentle, listening ear that was quick to listen, slow to speak.  I felt it in their clever, mischievous planning of a celebration of champagne, cake, cards and gifts.  I felt it in the meeting the need AND the want.  I felt it in the bringing me into the fold of the necessary chores of the day, as well as the space that was made for shopping and coffee and girl chats that cost them both sleep and ‘me’ time.

Ashley and Eric imaged God well as they mirrored His Son.  Jesus was not fancy.  But He was extravagant.  He lacked restraint—He held nothing back from us.  And He is still doing that.  He continues to extend and stretch to meet us where we are.  He doesn’t shy away from us or treat us as if we are asking too much.  He lavishes on us.  His grace, His mercy, His love…Himself. 

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Ephesians 1: 7-10 In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Thankful for a God that holds nothing back. Thankful for friends who love to spoil and treat in the generosity of their being. So, so grateful.

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