The Way of Love

Christmas is traditionally a time to share and care, a time to love and be loved, a time to remember the true meaning and message of Christmas–a message which is the very essence of love. “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16). Yet during the rest of the year this message is largely forgotten.

Each spiritual principle in our lives in learned on the level of our maturity in Christ and His Word. What we learn this year should be a stepping stone to a greater depth in our Christian walk in years to come. It should teach us more fully how to live in Him, to move in Him, to have our being in Him (Acts 17:28). And just as we learned the faith principle, so can we learn the love principle. Just as we learned to walk by faith, so can we learn to walk in love.

Love is the first of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Just as fruit grows, so love can grow also. Before fruit is produced on a tree, a lengthy process takes place, though unseen. But as sure as summer, the buds of spring burst forth into ripened fruit for all to partake. In this same way love can blossom, drawing others to partake of God’s love which is available to them through us.

This quality of divine love was not always present in my life. I loved those who loved me and gave to me as all of us do. But because of a lack of knowledge of this love principle, God’s divine love was not expressed in my daily life. Then several years ago I began my adventure of love. I remember especially an incident which took place one Christmas.

Ann, a girl whom I had known only casually, kept coming to my mind. Although I didn’t understand it, I sensed that she had a need. But I didn’t even know where she was. One day while my mother and I were Christmas shopping at a large mall in Dallas, Ann was sitting in a cafeteria there. Seeing us walk by, she ran out to greet us. She grabbed me and hugged me as if I were a long-lost friend. Then I realized that God has a reason for our chance meeting.

“Ann, you’ve been on my mind,” I told her. We talked for a while, then she walked with us out into the winer evening, shivering as she stood by the car to talk to me some more, for she wore no coat.

A few days later she called and said, “I’m separated from my husband who is in the service. I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to the hospital for surgery.”

While I listened to her I kept thinking of all that I still had to do to get ready for Christmas: there were more gifts to be bought, presented to be wrapped, baking and decorating to be done in preparation for the many relative who would be our guests over the holidays. But love whispered in my ear, “Find out what hospital she will be in.”

I was so busy that I didn’t really want to get involved. I thought I would just send her some flowers.

The day before her surgery was scheduled she called. Her voice edged with fear, she asked, “Could you just come by the hospital? I’m going to have surgery in the morning,” she said.

“Yes, I’ll come. I have family coming, but I’ll be there.”

Then the Lord said to me: “You be there!”

“Yes, Father,” I said. I was just learning to take orders.

I was there when Ann was rolled out of surgery. I stood over her and reached down and took her hand. At the time I didn’t know that her relationship with her mother was broken. She didn’t really have anyone. I stayed with her awhile, and as I left I asked the nurse, “When will Ann be released?”

“If she had someone to take care of her, she could go home before Christmas,” she answered. “But since she lives alone, she’ll have to wait until after the holidays.”

Driving home I told myself, “I’ve got my family here… I’m busy…”

But Ann kept coming to my mind. “Ann… she doesn’t have anywhere to go for Christmas…”

“I’ve got to wrap my presents, entertain my guests…”

“But what about Ann?” came a gentle reminder. Still I brushed it aside and tried to forget.

I went to the hospital to see Ann again. When I went home I couldn’t get her off my mind. I wondered, “What kind of Christmas will she have in the hospital?” But I quickly reminded myself that that wasn’t my responsibility.

“Oh, you’re not your brother’s keeper?” the Holy Spirit seemed to ask.

“Well, if you put it that way…”

Picking up the phone I dialed the hospital. “Ann, honey, do you think you might want to spend a few days at my house?”

“Spend a few days at your house?” she asked incredulously. “Let me check with my doctor and I’ll call you right back.” A few minutes later the phone rang and I heard Ann excitedly saying, “Yes, I can come! The doctor says I can be released on Christmas Eve.”

Then the Lord said, “Buy her a robe; she doesn’t have one.” So we bought a robe and some other presents for her and put them with ours under the Christmas tree.

I’ll never forget that Christmas Eve. I had a brand-new car which I was very proud of. I drove it to the hospital, picked up Ann and put her in the back seat of that new car. God wanted her to have a smooth ride home.

Do you know what happened as a result of this demonstration of God’s love–through me–to Ann? She walked into fellowship with Jesus. Then she wrote to her husband, and their marriage was restored.

God’s love puts others first–even when it’s not convenient.


2 Comments

  1. What a great article!!! Don’t remember ever reading this! Thanks for putting it up on the site!!! It a blessing!

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