As we approach Valentine’s Day Saturday, our minds will be on love and relationships. We will pause to think of those we have loved and those who have loved us. Some of those people are no longer available to call, send flowers to, share a card or a kind word.
COVID, accidents, diesels and death keep snatching people away from us. Maurice Conner, the minister at 19th Avenue Church of Christ for almost 30 years passed due to the coronavirus a couple of weeks ago at age 63. I will miss the ties of brotherhood and friendship we shared for those 30 years.
Stephanie Mason served our educational system for 30 years and passed two Saturday mornings at just 54. We were in Kiwanis together and she was always concerned about loving the children and doing what is best for them.
Bob Goff has written a book on love that should be required reading. It is called “Love Does.” The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write down 2,000 years before Goff how action-oriented love is: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:3-6).
There are many excellent quotes illustrated by good stories in Love Does like: “Love does not keep thinking or planning. Love does it.” “Love isn’t something we fall into; love is something we become.” “The smallest act of love is worth more than the grandest intention.” “These people (those who love) haven’t tried to save up love like they’re going to need it later; they know we’re rivers, not reservoirs.”
One of my favorite illustrations that proves this last quote comes from the land of the Bible. Up in the north of Israel at the foot of 8,000-foot Mt. Herman, there are underground springs of water and melting snow that form the source of the Jordan River. The Jordan’s waters make their way down to the harp shaped Sea of Galilee. Those fresh waters flow back into the Jordan again, making their way south and downward toward the Dead Sea. There those once fresh waters die in a sea of salt where no life can survive.
A true heart of love never saves or hoards love, it always gives love away. The more you give, the more love will come back to you. You are either a Jordan River, Sea of Galilee or you are the Dead Sea. You can’t save up love, it will die. Love like a river, must keep flowing and sharing with others. Reservoirs that never take in new water or give it away become stagnant and die like the Dead Sea. Choose love and choose life.
Joe D. Rushing is one of the ministers of the Main Street Church of Christ and a NorthCrest Chaplain.