They Lived to Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.  Love does not insist on its own way it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Thought for the Day:  How will you show love today?

Shy as she was, she walked into a gathering at The University of Tennessee at Martin.  In the early 1950s she entered the college as a freshman majoring in Home Economics and had left her parents over a hundred miles away.  When she walked in, her beauty radiated to the eyes of a young college boy who stood in the corner joking with a group of students.  There was laughter as he brought joke upon joke and told story after story.  She didn’t pay much attention to him and probably didn’t even like his stories.  She found herself in another corner with her group of new friends.  He finally did it, he finally saw her by herself and went to talk to her.  They chatted for a few minutes and went their separate ways.  But over the course of time, they saw and acknowledged each other.  One day, he noticed her sitting by herself and she looked as if she had been crying.  When he went to talk to her she told him that her Daddy was in the hospital in Memphis, fighting lung cancer.  As poor as he was, he immediately volunteered to drive her the distance to see her father.  After weeks of driving her back and forth to see her father, they fell in love.  It was several years before they were engaged to be married, and she had lost her father during that time.  They were finally married and were a very devoted couple as they took care of two handicapped boys, were pastors’ in many two, three, four point charges (preaching and pastoring to that many churches at one time), were loved by many (probably thousands) for their love of God and their love for their churches.  Gordon and Mary Jane lived for each other, for their children, and for the members in their churches.  Mostly, they lived for God who led their every step.

Today, I praise and thank God for bringing these two together.  Yes, they were my parents but more than that, they were partners in the ministry God had led them to.  They showed how to love to those who watched this young man driving this young woman to see her father in the hospital.  They showed how to love to those who watched as she took care of the children and home in order for him to go to school to become an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.  They showed how to love to those who watched them take care of those handicapped boys giving them so much love through their lives.  They showed how to love to those who called on them in the middle of the night and saw them running to minister to those in need.  They showed how to love to those who watched them as they took care of their “little girl” as she lost her husband in a car accident and as she found new love. They showed how to love to those who watched him as he sat by her side as she weakened from cancer.  They showed how to love to those who watched him continue preaching beautiful sermons after her death.  They showed how to love to those who watched him find a new love and continue his ministry even after retirement.  They showed love to those who watched as he continued living and comforting people even as he weakened from cancer.  They showed love to those who have watched their daughter continue living and having faith because that is how they raised her.  They showed love to those who watched their daughter’s family as they have given praise to God, especially through the storms.

Today, I say “Happy 59th Anniversary” to the two most precious and influential people in my life.  I miss them dearly but I know God gave them to me where I could receive the continuous gift of faith, hope, and love……the greatest of these being love.

Prayer:   God, thank you so much for placing parents in our lives who in their life and death have taught us how to love.  Be with us each day, God, that we can be follow in their footsteps teaching love to our children.  Help us each day to show love and kindness to those around us.  Amen

Prayer Focus:  Those missing their parents

 

 

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