A long time ago I made a decision to use the word “love” a little more freely. That decision came with another which was to not let concerns of what others would think of that get in the way of expressing that love. For example, if it was a female friend then she would get that the “love” was within the context of loving a fellow believer in Jesus Christ, love like a sister that I never had, and possibly a bond that simply comes with walking through many years of life’s ups and downs together. The transition would be instant, from “Take Care” at the end of an email to “Love, Julie” if we had just endured a crisis together. When one heart is hurting, there is no other word that will suffice. Love covers things well.
Born again believers know the author of love as God himself. The scriptures instruct us that:
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 1 John 4
The Lord is the perfect reflection and expression of what love looks like. I do believe that those who are not in Christ have a sense of what love is like too. That is why I feel comfortable including a video in which 1) two women are kissing and 2) there is a man dressed as a woman embracing another man. If the relationships were real, they must have a sense of connectedness to express their love outwardly. I am not condoning homosexuality. I just might understand it a little more since my late Uncle Fred lived and died within the context of “the gay lifestyle.” I still loved him despite this decision. Oh how I wish he and others knew the deeper spiritual connectedness that comes in a God-fearing and God-honoring relationship! The Lord blesses those Who love him first! (Hebrews 11:5-7) But that is not my focus here today.
My focus is the importance of expressing love everyday to those you care about. It’s not weird! I am reminded of this today in the middle of 8 days in which my husband and I will attend two funerals. I had only met his Uncle Don one time and was more “acquainted” with Dave than knowing he and his wife Jane more “personally.” It didn’t and does not matter. As fellow believers in Christ, their character and lives had impacted my life with that level of connection. Uncle Don warmly accepted my marriage to Steve that had come at a time when most of Steve’s children still could not. Since I knew without a doubt that the Lord was blessing our marriage, it was refreshing to feel loved by his family. I thank the Lord for this.
Also when Steve and I married and started to attend his church home, he pointed out couples with strong marriages that he wanted to model our relationship after. Dave and Jane was one of them. They had been married for decades by then yet still had a sense of fun, a spark, and a deep love for one another that was palpable. They worked separate jobs outside of their home yet were usually together at church and other important events. Dave served the body of believers, his community, his employer, and his family with equal enthusiasm. Thank you for pointing out this great example of a Godly man, Steve. And yes, you are much like him for sure!
Today I am unable to attend Dave’s funeral service due to complications of a serious, ongoing illness. Last night was particularly wretched. I had a sense that it would be risky to go to the funeral home and be around so many people and potential exposures that trigger convulsive episodes. I went anyways. I am also in the middle of re-shuffling my treatment plan and have no idea what made things so much worse. The only good part about that hellish 2 hours was the toning of my abdominal muscles from flexion posturing, writhing, seizing, moaning, and more. Oy vey. In the middle of it I asked for the Lord to remove this hell. I begged for His mercy. It must have come since at some point I passed out and woke up about 7 hours later . . .
Today I am beat up from all that has transpired in the past day. Somehow I am still alive! Though my heart is heavy with grief on many fronts, I do not regret pouring out the strength that I had to be with friends in their time of need. I got to be out with my beloved husband and do one of the important things of this life. Going to the wake reminded me of the truth told a gazillion times before: there is no day like today. There is nothing like love between two people, magnified and blessed when they are one in Christ. And lest it be forgotten or unknown, it is important to express that love out loud and often. For me this includes the love of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For just as it says in the song,
I die without You!
Talk about perfect love! Oh Gentle Reader, won’t you join me in sharing a little love today?
With love, JJ