John 15:12-13 “This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that one lay down his life for his friends.”
“Mother, don’t hate me! Love, NS.”
This note greeted me at the kitchen door on Wednesday evening after work. “Hate you? Why would I ever hate my son?” I thought.
I entered the kitchen and looked into the dining room. Suddenly, I understood the reason for his note.
For four months our house had been complete bedlam. Our unplanned kitchen remodel caused by a burst pipe overwhelmed the whole downstairs. Layers of dirt and dust coated the furniture for weeks and all the kitchen items had taken up residence in the living room, the downstairs bedroom, and on the dining room table. All winter our living space was sparse and we survived by clearing paths and creating a small eating space on the table.
Finally I Could Breathe Again!
But Memorial Day weekend proved to be the end of most things messy. I worked like crazy cleaning and finding homes for all my important kitchen items in the new cabinets. After discarding much unneeded stuff, things were finally in order. Finally I could breathe deeply again – until I got the note!
Monday night a tornado passed through our county. Our home survived the storm, but Nathan’s apartment sustained extensive damage. With very little notice he was forced to terminate his lease and move all his belongings out of the rental. He and his two roommates stayed up all night throwing possessions in boxes to empty the apartment as quickly as possible. Now the big things, like furniture, were tucked away in our barn, but everything else again littered the dining room table.
My mouth dropped and my eyes grew large as I surveyed the situation before me. “Not again!” I lamented. But then I thought of Nathan’s note. I certainly didn’t hate him. I loved him!
Jesus’ Command to Love Sacrificially
Jesus commanded his disciples in John 15 to love one another sacrificially. Maybe this was a small example of laying down one’s life for a friend. It isn’t often that one physically dies for another, but every day we encounter opportunities to give up the things we think we need to live – comfort, finances, rest, strength, belongings, and maybe even the dining room table.
Suddenly, a thought came to me. I grabbed my camera, took a picture of the clutter, and sent it to our family group message stating, “This is real love! Love you, Nate!”
I do love my son and I’m so glad he wasn’t hurt in the tornado! If need be I would give my life for him. But today I lay down my comfort and my organized home. Today, I give him the dining room table!!!
Love you, Nate!!
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