“Charity never faileth…” 1 Cor. 13:8a
Back in my younger years I was a bird lover. I still like them, but I no longer own as many as I can or watch and study them as much. One of my clearest memories is of a sparrow that I caught and kept in a cage. I gave him a name but don’t remember it. He was my own special pet. (Now I know that it is not kindness to catch a wild, adult bird and cage him, but at that time it was innocent love that motivated this 8-10-year-old girl.)
I remember the day I came home to find my birdie dead in a corner of his cage. With hot tears, in my mother’s comforting arms I burst out, “I will never love a bird again…”
My mother let me cry, and her words of wisdom come back to me today sometimes, “Just because something hurts, we can’t stop loving.”
Just because something hurts, we can’t stop loving.
Often love hurts. We love our family and friends, and then death separates us, and it hurts. For love of our babies we “hurt” to bring them into this world and raise them. After years of pouring your life into your child, he may turn his back on you and on God, and that hurts. We minister to a neighbor lady, and then she leaves all the good she knows, and goes back to the world. It hurts.
Sometimes it seems it would be easier to just not love, to harden our hearts and not care. Some people do that. But what would happen if we stopped loving?
Our love softens this hard world. We may feel like the ones we love don’t return our love. Our husbands, children, family, and friends need our love to point them to Christ. And though it is hard sometimes, and they act indifferent, our love brightens their lives. Our hearts and memories our richer for it too.
Some time ago we attended the funeral of a young man who was killed in a drug fight. The sadness and hurt his parents were going through was hard to see. They had raised him in a Christian home, had loved and prayed for him, and had warned him of the ways he was going. He had turned his back on that all and lowered himself into the worst of lifestyles, when he knew a better way. He left them nothing but pain that can only be carried by grace of God.
Remember Jesus’ example.
When our hearts bleed and we get no recompense for our love, we can remember the one who loved most of all. Perhaps he is the reason we can keep loving. He loved us when we rejected him. He loves, even though many never respond to that love.
Today, when you are tired of loving, remember the Lover of our souls. Let’s follow His example, and He will give us grace to love when we are not loved in return, and when the ones we love hurt us whether intentionally or not.