June 5, 2018

Love Like Crazy

“Ugh! My brain is melting!” Our daughter came into my bedroom office and dramatically—she’s 16—flung herself on the bed, collapsing into a frustrated, matted mass of hair and pillows.

Another school year was ending, and my extroverted and creative daughter was feeling the pressure in the middle of heavy combat with her most difficult subject: math. And she was losing. I turned from my work and was about to give her some fatherly “wisdom” from a lifetime of hatred—I mean, difficulty—with the same subject, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted some movement.

I turned my head to see her 12-year-old brother, like a silent, small cat, sneak up behind her, softly climb onto the bed next to her, and gently put his arm around her. They both lay there—perfectly still without saying a word. After several minutes he dug through the pillows and hair and planted a kiss on her cheek. Then he got off the bed and went about his 12-year-oldness.

Shortly thereafter, our daughter got up with a huge grin on her face—singing to herself—thoroughly refreshed, picked up her sword (pencil), and rejoined the battle.

I was speechless and tearful. I had just witnessed the best metaphor for what it means to be a Christian. In the midst of others’ pain, despair, heartache, disease, depression, destruction, and death, we Christians are called to comfort and love others, just as my son did for my daughter. Jesus calls us to love like crazy.

Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone” (Rom. 12:10-17, NIV).

Question: where in our lives can we do something to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn? Let’s be like my son, and pray today that God will help us see the world with Hiseyes, then be His hands, His feet, and His heart.

Just don’t . . . kiss any strangers.

Know Jesus. Love Jesus. Live Jesus.

Omar Miranda, a counselor and writer, lives with his family in unplainPlainville, Georgia.