We know God best when we love others.
On Mother’s Day, Samantha, a cheery nine-year old whom everyone calls Sammy, scratched her fingers badly picking bright yellow flowers for her Mom. The flowers had thorny branches, which kept people from picking them, but not Sammy!
It was Mother’s Day and her mom just loved yellow flowers. So, Sammy picked the flowers anyway scratching her hands pretty good in the process. “Why did you pick them?” asked her older sister Bonnie. Sammy replied, “It was Mother’s Day and mom adores yellow flowers. I wanted to surprise her.”
Her mother, wanting to protect her, said, “Thanks Sammy. They’re lovely and you’re lovely for making that sacrifice. You know Jesus hurt His hands on the cross loving you and me too.” Her mother continued, “Remember how they put nails in His hands? He accepted that because He loved us so much and He died so we can go to heaven.”
Hugging Sammy she said, “Your hands were hurt in much the same way. You wanted to show your love for me, and I am grateful to you as we are grateful to Jesus. Sometimes love hurts when we give it.”
Kendrick Castillo, a senior in high school, sacrificed his life saving his fellow students during a Colorado school shooting. He tackled the shooter, saving their lives and sacrificing his own. His fellow students honored him for his sacrifice. They are alive because he acted. In saving their lives, Kendrick made the ultimate sacrifice, his life. Sometimes when we love others it takes all we have. Kendrick’s love showed this!
On Ascension Thursday, Christ will leave us as He returns to His Father’s right hand. He will ask us to live our time here loving others as He loved us. And like Sammy, Kendrick, and Jesus, they all loved until it hurt, even calling to the shedding of blood.
This is the love Jesus is asking us to give. He wants us to love as He loved us. Jesus said:
“I give you a new commandment, love one another as I have loved you so you also should love one another. This is how all will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
He never said it would be easy to love others. Even young Sammy found this out picking yellow flowers. Yet, Jesus asks us to try. The world around us won’t change until we decide to act. Kendrick made the ultimate choice. His reward is the same glory Jesus enjoys with him this very day.
Remember, God made us from love. And as a result, we are wired to love. Our heart is the engine of this love, it flows love by the minute. Like a beach ball in a swimming pool, our love cannot stay submerged, it has to find the surface. Let’s help our love surface, freeing it to help us become who we love.