Once again, Steve Wiens of The Actual Pastor has hit the metaphorical nail on its literal head. Go on and read him here. Then carry on.
Now. Let’s think about love for a moment, can we? This is February, the month when you can’t walk through Walgreens without a zillion red cardboard hearts leering at you from every shelf. These are supposed to make you think of love.
“Here babe. For all the wonderful things you are, and the great stuff you do for me, I will give you this box of cheap chocolate and a dozen roses that were $9.99 at Wal-Mart. It’s the thought that counts, and I’m thinking all this should buy me some ‘alone time’ with you, if you get my drift.”
If Wal-mart and Walgreens and other things starting in “wal” are any indication, we believe in love of the cardboard heart variety.
But what about the real kind? What does real love look like?
Steve offers one example—a sandwich. I can think of other things.
On Tuesday night, we went to a church in Fairlawn to pay our respects to our friend Mike’s mother, Janet Rodgers, and her precious family. The place was jammed. Everyone had a story. Everyone had a memory. We didn’t know her, but we left feeling as though we had. Her whole life was a legacy of love, and a lot of it was the practical, hands-on kind. Our other friend, Liz, commented on Facebook, “After [Mike] spoke, I reflected on how Janet made everyone feel like her favorite. Just like Jesus! You are Jesus’ favorite. And so am I.”
What an amazing legacy! I want to be Mike’s mom when I grow up. (This is looking doubtful at the moment because of the whole flamethrower thing, but it’s good to have goals.) Is there anything more awesome to say about someone than “She made everyone feel like her favorite?” God is like that.
God is way bigger than human systems and ideologies and understandings. God cannot be defined by debates or diminished by demagogues (even the ones who claim that they have God’s words in their mouths).
God doesn’t mess around with the cheap stuff and the self-serving motives because, well, God doesn’t need much. Instead, God offers people God’s self, and says “You are my favorite.”
In this month of crazy cardboard love, let’s do something radically different. Every single day, let’s do one wild, generous, fun, loving thing for someone who crosses our path, because they are God’s favorite, and they may not know. Besides, I’m God’s favorite, too, and so are you.