Picture from TODAY

I want to suggest we do not know what the word ‘love means.  Love is an easy word to throw around.  Love is one of those things we talk about a lot in Christian circles.  Jesus says, “Love one another.”  We let ‘love’ easily slip off our tongues.  I talk with young couples preparing to be married who would be incensed to think that anyone might challenge that they love one another. I can’t remember who said it, but I remember a definition of love that took me up short: “True love means giving something to someone they don’t deserve at a cost to you.”   It is a thought-provoking definition that eliminates a lot of what we call ‘love.’  It would suggest that we rally don’t love someone until it costs us something—something maybe we didn’t even intend to give. Did I really love my wife when I was breathless and eager to be with her, full of all kinds of emotions or was that infatuation? You may have seen the story of a 41-year-old single mom, Stacie Crimm.  She had come to believe that she never would be able to have children.  But surprisingly she learned she was pregnant and shortly after learned she also had cancer.  She had a chance at beating the cancer, but the chemotherapy would put her baby at risk—probably kill the fetus.  She skipped the treatment and the aggressive cancer raged through her body.  Stacie collapsed and Dottie, her daughter was born early.  Stacie had three days with her daughter before dying.  The article asks Stacie’s brother, “When Dottie Mae grows up, how will you explain Stacie’s ultimate sacrifice?”  He replies, “I don’t think I’ll have to tell her anything,” he told Lauer. “I think she’ll kind of figure it out on her own.” Jesus’ model of love cost Him dearly.  He told us that real love is like that: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13  Taken like that, I don’t love much.  I have a hard time giving up something (or having it taken from me) for or by a person who does not deserve it.  Maybe we really don’t love our spouses or families until we intentionally sacrifice for them even when they don’t deserve it.  Maybe we don’t love our community until it costs us something.  But I have a suspicion that like little Dottie Mae Crimm, I think folks will figure it out on their own.  Maybe that will be the image of Jesus in us.


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