God calls us to love each other. He never promises that living that out is going to be easy.
In fact, he talks a lot about this thing called sacrificial love! a love that is hard. a love that is lived out at great cost to yourself.
I think loving us probably always comes at great cost for God.
First of all, there’s the obvious cost of Jesus absolutely terrible death all for love of us. Then there’s the less obvious cost of Jesus coming to this earth in the first place–giving up the peace, glory, rapture, riches, and intimacy of heaven to walk our broken earth in broken flesh-becoming one of us…. reaching down to our level to love people who keep on forgetting about anything outside of themselves… to selflessly pour himself out for people who perpetually live selfishness as their primary disposition and orientation towards the co-operative creation that He made for them in the first place. People who vandalize the created order repeatedly during the day, sometimes consciously, but in nearly infinite ways that we don’t even have a clue that we’re doing!
And then there’s the choice to love and be in relationship with us at all… a choice that guarantees being betrayed, mistreated, even despised—choosing to have your heart broken on a daily basis and to forgive over and over and over.
So, my young friend–I want you to know how incredibly cool it was for me to see you loving my daughter in that sacrificial way. Being that invested and spending that kind of time with a 3 year old can be hard for a lot of people, and playing on her level for so long… helping her with her socks, and all the little things which she couldn’t do for herself… Those are all even harder for someone your age–generally speaking. I was so impressed with you today!
I’m not sure if you have a clue about the way you were following Christ today–following His example of humbling yourself to be on her level, while still retaining who you are (which includes being more capable and more emotionally together, etc) so that you play like a three-year old and assist her like a 20 year old.
but that is who you are, my young friend. You are a young man with a beautiful compassionate streak, a protective loyalty for your friends, and a helpful spirit.
I pray today that as you grow, entering double digits, exploring how to be who you are with integrity, that you will know in a deeply experiential way that same tenderness and reaching down to your level–while still being entirely available for you to lean on Him from your beloved Jesus! May you always know He is faithful, delight in Him, revel in Him, and lean on Him.
May the grace and compassion, helpfulness and indiscriminate love that you showed today be the norm for what you experience in your relationships.
Thank you, for showing me this picture of sacrificial love today. I know there are tonnes of things that may have been more fun for you to do today. I know how much easier it would have been for you to do less with my daughter, or leave her and run off to do your own thing, or ignore her need for socks, etc etc. But you gave of yourself to be what she needed… over and over. so Thank you. you are such a wonderful kid!