I went to visit my friend/colleague in the hospital this past week. He technically hadn’t been admitted…it was his wife…and then a short while later…their new born son. Though I couldn’t stay long, (because, I had to pick up my own 12 year old first born and her 3 younger siblings from school), the visit was fabulous. I loved holding this 1 day old baby boy. It reminded me of how my life changed in indescribable ways when our daughter arrived. It was at this moment, when I learned some things about love that I had thought that I had known prior…but I was wrong. I learned about love in a brand new way.
This new daughter of ours has experienced “unfairness” more than any other of our children, simply because she is older, and she has had to endure the addition of siblings more than any of the others…and she has had to endure her siblings’ birthdays more often than they have had to. She has never shied away from expressing her feelings of unfairness…where at each birthday party, (that is not her own), her brother and sisters receive all of the gifts that she wished that she could have…a new bike, Little People bus, Polly Pockets, American Girl Doll outfits…etc. When each of these gifts, (and more), were opened the words “ahhh! Not fair” were loudly proclaimed from her lips.I remember as a child, I would also express the lack of fairness in much the same way…”Mom! Dad! Why does Ross, (that’s my brother), get a new walkman” (this is one of those hand held “cassette” players that would pull your pants down when you would clip it to your waist while trying to go for a run), “that’s what I wanted!”(...the walkman…not the pulling of the pants thing…that’s awkward, but it came with the territory…)”That’s not fair.” My father with the wisdom of a gypsy fortune teller would say, “That’s because we love him more…” “Huh?”
For years I was dumbfounded by this response, then I learned about reverse psychology. I came to realize that this must be my Dad’s way of saying…”Ryan…you are really my favorite…but I don’t want your brother to know about it…because he might feel bad.” This had to be it…because I knew that I MUST be his favorite. So he was really saying…he loved ME more. Though this doesn’t explain my 20th birthday…hmmm…maybe forgetting a child’s birthday is really a way of showing that you remembered it…but it sure didn’t feel like it. (They really didn’t forget the birthday…but…kind of…)Have you ever stopped to think about love? I mean really, think about it...where does it come from? When we had our first child…we didn’t have to say…”I guess I will have to choose to love this child,” (though perhaps a few times since then), the love came naturally…but it came from somewhere. When we had our second child…then our third…then our fourth…the love, just never ran out…in fact, the love never even depleted…the well never even got shallower.
1 Corinthians 13 is known as the love chapter. It is often used at weddings, but it is so much more than just a feel good chapter about love. This chapter expresses what God gives to us in his Son Jesus Christ. God “loved” the world so much…that he gave his son…while we were still his “enemies,” he loved us. When we come to the end of things, we will find three things remaining…faith, hope and love…and the greatest of the three…is love...God's love will NEVER cease...it will ALWAYS continue. If love were fair...I'd be out of luck.