We saw Les Misérables over the weekend. Powerful movie. I cried and cried afterward, struck by the sacrifices and determination of others to bless my life, especially my mother. My time on earth has been relatively easy. I've not suffered poverty or sexual abuse or physical disability. I have never wondered when I'd eat again, never felt terribly unsafe, never had to hide from someone's anger. I've not been beaten or in bondage of any kind, never had to deal with an addiction. I've not feared for my life. I've not had health issues. I've always felt loved and cared for.
Why? Why have I had it so easy while others must struggle? Many times in the last few weeks I've pondered what that means, what it requires of me. I have been greatly blessed, in so many ways, through relationships and opportunities, through an easy American life, with freedom and access to resources. What responsibility is mine because of the blessing in my life? How can I honor the sacrifices of others, the privileged life I've been given?
How do I honor the blessing?
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
These words have reverberated in my mind continually. Much will be demanded from me, but what exactly? I scour my Bible and find one answer.
Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply from the heart.
1 Peter 1:22
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.
My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
1 John 4:7-12 (MSG)
It's a pay-it-forward mentality. I can never repay my mother for all she's done to make my life blessed, but I can give the same sacrifices for my children, for people in my life. God says, "If you love me you will obey me. Obey me by loving others." I honor the blessing by loving others well, by offering my time, my resources, my heart. And as a result, my life is even more blessed.
God IS love, a love that doesn't make sense, that goes beyond human reason, that sacrifices just because. It's beautiful and other-worldly and noble and honorable. And real. And lasting.
May God open our eyes to the opportunities to love. May He give us courage and perseverance and faithfulness.
May He help us honor His blessing.
Photo Credit: jdv+