Deep, Mature Love

On Tuesday night I was in the hospital room of a 91-year-old man. By his bedside was his wife of 63 years. It was a holy moment for me. I caught a glimpse of deep, mature love.

This dear woman was taking care of her dying husband, while also dealing with an ornery nurse. The nurse, dismissing her concerns, spoke with an antagonistic tone and inappropriate manner. Frustrated, the nurse blurted out, “I’m just doing my job.” This grieving woman, without hesitation, responded, “I’m just taking care of him!”

That’s a glimpse of love.  During the graveside funeral a few days later, I shared that glimpse of love to the gathered family and friends.

I call this a holy moment because, as pastor, I’m invited into these tender and intimate scenes. I also call it a holy moment because it gives me insight into the love of our Heavenly Father.

In the season of Advent I often turn to John 1. I love the way that Eugene Peterson translated John 1:14 in The Message:

The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.

That’s more than a glimpse of love. It’s a billboard of love. A broadcast of love. It is sacrificial, generous, and allows us to see the glory of God with our very own eyes. It’s God himself screaming, “I’m taking care of you.”

We have good reason to proclaim, “Merry Christmas!”

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