Since my fall — tripping on my own feet — on Aug. 8, making me almost immobile, I am amazed at how I have been attended to — by the Banner, co-workers, my church and neighbors.
My hairdresser even came to my home to continue maintenance on her most needy client. And they weren’t trying for awards or pats on the back — It was just care and compassion in the Nth degree.
Jesus talked about people like these in Matthew’s Gospel. The “First and Great Commandment,” he said, is this: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” And the second, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
In John 13:34, it is expressed by Jesus’ words, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” This will make people know who you are and to whom you belong.
I just believe you have to observe the first before you can observe the second. And I am loved.
No pretense, no analyzing, no hypocrisy, no conditions — I didn’t have to be worthy of love.
To experience such care is gratefully humbling. (Confidentially, I think people did more for me than they would do for themselves.)
Paul compares the spiritual with the physical body in 1 Corinthians 12:26: “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.”
There is no part of our physical body that is isolated and on its own. The other “members” help to care for the injured part as response is made to the suffering. And spiritually, a child of God responds to the needs of others.
God made us to be this way, but when sin enters the picture, love is hindered and compassion is crushed. Goodness cannot come from unrighteousness.
Therefore, as I said, I am convinced you have to observe the first commandment before you can keep the second.
I recall my mother in her last days. Surprisingly, it was not relief from pain and distress that she sought as she grasped for the last strains of life. She reached out for love — to me and to all who came to visit her.
No one ever left without an invitation for a hug and she thrived on that even when food no longer mattered and recognition of friends was gone. Earlier disagreements with people vanished as her arms and heart yearned for an embrace — in spite of her sinking deeper into the darkness of dementia.
And as long as she was able, she expressed that intense longing, singing her last words, “You Are My Sunshine.”
And in our daily living, we need to be someone’s “sunshine.”
That is God’s way.