Sunday, July 14, 2013

Loving What's Loveable

"as I have loved you"
John 15:12

I had an interesting conversation with one of my sisters last week, via email.  We'd been discussing parenting, and some of the difficulties involved in being a good parent, particularly when your kids aren't appreciative or cooperative or obedient. {We weren't talking about my kids per se, or her kids; just kids in general.}

And my sister told me about a book she read recently, on parenting, that talked about a mom whose son was "out of control".  I don't know if he had a drug problem or what, but there was a lot wrong.  A lot of things to make a mom angry or frustrated or ready to give up.  He would disappear for days and when he got home, he'd be a mess and she'd yell at him to get his act together, etc.

So one day, when he arrived home, she said, "Good breathing, son!"  He looked at her funny and asked what she meant by that, and she replied something like, "I'm glad to see that you're still alive."  And he came over and kissed her on the cheek.

I just love the concept of finding something to praise, in a life where there's very little to praise.  It's the knowledge that there is always something to appreciate about those in our lives.  Even those who are driving us crazy in some way.  Or many ways. 

We're much more interested in pointing out the speck in the eyes of others, than we are in seeing the plank in our own.  Frankly, it's just easier.  Especially when their failings and flaws are hurting us.  Repeatedly. 

That woman's son was making a lot of mistakes.  But he managed to stay alive.  He managed to recognize that a place of refuge existed, and he managed to find his way there.  In a life that was falling apart, these were achievements, and his mother made the decision to recognize that. 

I think that's a beautiful example of unconditional love.  Not blind love, mind you.  She was still very aware of his mistakes.  But she'd spoken up about those many times before, to no avail.  Perhaps she recognized God's unfailing love and forgiveness in her own life. 

God can accomplish a lot through love.  And there's no greater act of love than Jesus' death on the cross.  But He can illustrate His love through us, too.  So what are you waiting for?

~ "the kindness of God
     leads you to repentance" ~
Romans 2:4

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