SHE LOVED ME. WE WERE IN 8TH GRADE. SHE WAS ANONYMOUS.

“Me” (as she signed the letter) wrote and mailed me a love poem. I found it the other day in a box of old stuff:

IMG_8055It was imaginative. It was flattering! I don’t think I’ve ever written an original love poem in a letter like this (though I have written wonderful things to my wife!).

But it was anonymous.

When we think about love (outside of childhood), we tend to start with romance. Everyone remembers their first crush. It’s a dream. It’s a nightmare. It’s how we think about love for someone who isn’t related to us. Some of us let that person know our feelings (or today, we would do it by posting a vid). Some of us kept it a secret. Maybe we did share, but we did it anonymously. Whatever our experience, we learned that growing-up love starts with romance.

 

sBut does it end there? We hope. But maybe the end of love isn’t just about romance. Maybe it’s also about commitment.

The other day I was visiting my 81-year-old father. He became a follower of Jesus Christ 10 years ago. Today he helps take care of his wife, my mother, full-time after her second major stroke in 2014.

A love that began 54 years ago with romance is beginning her long goodbye with the daily routine of sacrifice for the one he committed to love. The attention he gives to her care and the affection he shows her, without her response back, is the romance and commitment we all hope for. Jesus has helped him become the full expression of the love letter he always had for her in his heart.

Jesus’ love for us is like that. He became God’s love letter to us. He is the romance of God, the one who shares His love with those He is trying to win over. But more importantly, Jesus is the eternal commitment of God to those who believe and follow Him as Lord and Savior. I hope for you a love that has both romance and commitment. Sometimes our hearts go astray and we miss both. But the good news of the gospel is that much more so than my father’s love for his wife, God’s love for his own will never fade. And never be anonymous.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:37,38]