Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Love Lavishly

There’s a little “25 Things About Me” exercise going around on one of the social networks of which I’m a part. The idea is that you write 25 things about you, and “tag” 19 others, as well as the person who originally tagged you.

The lists have been neat, and I’ve learned many things about my social network friends who have done lists. Yesterday though, was breathtaking.

"10. When my mom died I held her and touched her till she went cold. I could not stop sniffing her. I never want to forget her smell and her smooth skin."

I quickly read through the rest of the list, and then went back to #10. I re-read #10. And re-read it again.

I was speechless, stunned, a puddle of tears, and grateful for being allowed to be included in such a deep, intimate, personal detail.

Twenty four hours later I am still pondering the depths of #10. Instant tears I have flowing freely down my cheeks every time I read #10.

I have yet to lose someone close to me. And no one, as far as I know, is nearing death. So my response seems puzzling. I’m not grieving a death, nor am I anticipating a death.

Why am I so moved? Why the depths of emotion?

Lavish love. I read #10 and it is what a life lived being lavishly loved, looks like. A daughter, showing one last act of deep love to her mom.

When I was pregnant, a big concern for me was that I would not love my child as deeply (or at all) as a mom should. Many days I’d rock in my glider, with my hands on my belly, praying to God that He give me a heart that loved this child (I prayed in the singular for a long time since we didn’t know I was carrying twins until the eighth month).

I prayed to Him that I’d love the way Jesus loves—no strings attached. I knew I needed Him for that kind of love, since, being human, I’m selfish, self-centered, and demand my own way.

God is so good. He does answer prayers. I am astounded, really, by how He continually transforms my heart. Not only do I love my children, but I love people, even those that are really hard to love, if ya know what I mean.

The definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is beautiful, magnificent,and awe-inspiring.

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends."

I want to love like that.

As my relationship with God grows, as I am humbled by His grace and His love for me, and as I remain focused on Him, it’s easier to love God’s way—agape love.

Lavish love.

#10 is lavish love, and a sobering reminder of just how fleeting all of our lives on Earth really are.

While I'm here, whether it is for a day, a decade, or several decades, I choose to love lavishly.