For the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers…
For the past several months I have been visiting my folks on a regular basis. Why is that newsworthy, you may ask? Well, because in the past four months my mom has developed acute dementia. Christmas Day, everything is fine.
January comes, but my mom didn’t come with the new year.
She is slowly leaving us. Without saying goodbye.
In one of my recent visits I noticed a card set neatly among the family photos. There hasn’t been any movement in this neatly displayed arrangement for some time, and it has always been the temporary resting place for all the cards honoring special events. Curious, I looked closer, wondering what was being celebrated in late April.
It was a Valentine’s Card. From my dad to my mom.
With All My Love…it began.
I was dumbfounded. Usually the cards came down within two weeks, tops, after the significant day had passed. But there it was. A Valentine’s Day card in April. That was was quickly erased by a second and more astounding notion.
I thought. Dad, mom doesn’t even know where she is living anymore. She thinks her folks are still alive and that she is moving home any day now. Surely she hasn’t even seen this card, let alone understood it’s contents.
She doesn’t recognize your love for her, I thought. So, why bother?
Then it hit me. The Cross is God’s timeless display of His love for His lost creation. God shows His love in this, that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.
I’ve always wanted to fix that verse. I wanted the verb tenses to be consistent. How can God be presently revealing His love through an event that took place 2,000 years ago? And why bother? Loving a people that won’t recognize the magnitude of His love for them?
So now it’s all coming together for me.
While my Mom may not recognize my Father’s love for her, I do. And maybe, just maybe, in a moment of clarity or healing, she will see that card and realize the love her husband has for her. And has had for her for over 50 years.
And perhaps someone will see a cross one day, and realize that God the Father loves them. Perhaps it will be in the form of service, friendship or worship. But whatever form the Cross takes, it will be seen for what it was meant to be seen as: God’s timeless demonstration of love for His wayward creation. The Cross is His Valentine’s card…and it is never going to be removed as a result of time passing. Or because of our blindness. Or because of a lack of results.
God isn’t a pragmatist in regard to love. And apparently neither is my Dad. If they had been, love would have been measured, restrained and withheld.
And the greatest of these is love. Because it never fails. Even if we do. Even when we do.
So I’m more determined to love without condition. Not holding back because I fear failure. Or because I anticipate a lack of response.
I will love the way my Fathers have loved. Without regard for recognition or result. In that, there is great reward.