This morning I said goodbye to my wife for a few days and watched her drive away to the airport that will wing her away to Atlanta for some time with her mother.* I never really like being apart from my spouse…in fact I hate it. The house feels different, I don’t sleep that great and it feels as if something is missing. But at the end of the day, who am I to control what may or may not happen while we are apart. I don’t want to get to morbid here, but my wife may not make it back home. Then again, when she drives down the street to go to the grocery store there is a chance she might not make it back. I am not even guaranteed the next moment with my kids for that matter. You didn’t see that coming did you?
The writer of the book of James in the New Testament put it this way. “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. – James 4:13-14. But we don’t really like to think about that do we? We like to look around at our life and cling to it as if it will go on forever. We like to pursue immortality in all of its forms of diet, surgical, fitness induced spectacle. We even hold on tightly to our spouses, our kids, our friends, our houses, our hard-earned money, our possessions, etc. But that’s the thing…these things are not even really ours to begin with. In fact, that same writer put it this way earlier in this letter, “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” – James 1:16-17. All that we are and all that we “have” is a gift.
So what am I saying? Don’t love for fear of being hurt or fear of loss…by no means. In fact, your love should be even more wild, extravagant, logic defying. We love because we don’t know what tomorrow may hold. We make the most of every opportunity with our loved ones, our family, our friends, our neighbors because that is actually what love does. It enjoys and treasures the gift while it can. I think about the two little foster boys in our home now. There is a chance that they could be with us for up to a year and then be restored to their bio-family. And the question is always, “Aren’t you afraid you will get too attached?” And my answer, “I hope so”. Because love works that way. It’s extravagant and wild and at the same time open-handed and loose because we never know what tomorrow holds. So today I pray that you love big, bold, extravagantly, loosely knowing that it could hurt, you might suffer and you may grieve because love endures all things.
*For those of you concerned for my well-being, don’t worry. I only got left with 3 out 4 kids. I got this.