Sunday, September 20, 2020

What does true love look like?

Love is a wonderful aspect of human life. Someone once wrote that ‘love makes the world go round’ and the Beatles insisted that ‘all we need is love’. There are many kinds of love and they reveal the caring side of human nature. The love between spouses is close and intimate, the love between parents and children is very special and the love and care which friends show towards each other is to be treasured. Indeed the Bible says that ‘if I have no love, this does me no good’ and the greatest love was shown by God.

We have a good example of love from an incident in the American Civil War. It was a dreadful time for Americans as they fought each other. They had more casualties in that war than in all other wars in which they were engaged until Vietnam. The civil war is also the most written about war in history with books being published about it nearly every week. It was a war between the Unionists of the North and the Confederates of the South.

One young man was engaged to a beautiful girl and wedding plans started to be made when he was called up to join the Unionist army. So he donned the uniform, met up with his regiment and started his march with the troops. Every day these two engaged young persons wrote to each other - no mobile phones, laptops or social media in those days! So each day they sat down and wrote letters to each other by hand. They spoke about their love for each other, the plans for the wedding, their married life together. Also the soldier would add that he had come through the latest skirmish or battle and was unscathed, which would have been a great relief to them both.

After the Battle of the Wilderness he never wrote to his fiancee again but she received a letter from him. It was written at his dictation and his friend had put the words on the paper. It said something like this - ‘I was wounded in the battle and badly injured. The result is that I have had both arms amputated. I am sure you will not want to marry an amputee and I therefore release you from the engagement. I hope you will find someone else and be very happy with him. I still love you very much’.

We can only imagine her reactions when she read those heart-wrenching words. She did not reply to him in writing. Instead she got to the train station and the train took her fairly close to where the Battle of the Wilderness had been fought. She reached the fields where the wounded were housed in hundreds of tents and started looking for her man. Eventually she found him and she went to him, put her arms around his neck and said, ‘I will never give you up. These hands of mine will help you. I will take care of you.’

As we think of that girl’s reaction we find it utterly moving and her love incredibly sacrificial. I have no idea how they got on with their future lives. However, I do know that the love of Jesus is sacrificial and He died for our sins on the cross. The girl’s love was for someone who loved her in return. The love of Jesus is so much greater as it is love for people who may hate Him, use His name as blaspheme, who may disobey His laws and who may not even believe in Him. To love those who may hate us and want to do their best to destroy us is true, sacrificial love.  That is exactly the love of Jesus. He wants the best for us - ultimately the glory and wonder of Heaven and was willing to sacrifice His own life so that we might have the best. It is worth remembering that the Lord loves us deeply and we should give real consideration to how we respond to such wonderful love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life - John 3:16

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins - 1 John 4:10

This post is used with permission from ‘Messages with Meaning’ written for and produced by Your542day.

No comments

Blogger Template Created by pipdig