This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another (1 John 3:11).
It was one of the most touching acts of love which I’d ever seen. The elderly woman was nearing the end of her life, and the family wanted her to be able to live her final days at home. They’d put the hospital bed in the living room of their home. Her elderly husband was caring for her, doing his best to keep her comfortable. Her mind wasn’t as clear as it had been; she became easily angered because of it.
It was late in the afternoon. Husband had made some soup, and asked her if she wanted some supper. “No.” “Are you sure.” “No.”
A husband's love
And then in a few moments, “Yes.” So, husband helped her out of the bed so that he could help her to maneuver the few feet to the table, a difficult task. As husband tried to help, she began to scream at him, in the frustrated anger which springs from a failing body. She accused him of being rough, of being mean, of not caring, of not trying. Words of anger and frustration spilled out of her mouth.
Yet husband was wonderfully patient, speaking her name calmly, and continuing as gently as possible to help her move to the table as she continued to scream at him. It was one of the most touching acts of love I’ve ever seen.
I wondered if I would be as patient, as kind, as loving. I pray that I would have been. But the very fact that I wonder forces me to deal with an ugly truth: my love for others isn’t perfect. It’s often reluctant, or slow, or driven by some selfish motive. Yes, I should love others, but how often I struggle to do it! Oh how I need the love of my Savior!
Thank God, you and I have the love of the Savior! Jesus’ love for you and for me was never “reluctant” never “slow,” never driven by selfish motives. Jesus’ love was willing, perfectly timed, totally unselfish. Jesus loved you and me—indeed, loves you and me—more than and better than anyone ever could.
Love prompted by grace
It’s that wonderful, unselfish love of Jesus which motivates us to love one another. Oh, true, we’ll often struggle with it. That drives us right back to Jesus, and we’re reminded of his forgiving love for us.
And then every once in a great while it will happen: the love of Jesus will lead us to do exactly what God asks us to do, to love one another. To love one another with unselfish, giving, patient, caring love.
Kind of like that elderly husband.
Prayer: O Savior, as you loved me, lead me to love others. Amen.
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