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Posted: June 14, 2018 9:42 a.m.
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Finding contagious love

Chaplain's Corner

Just the other day I remembered a story from a dear pastor friend. I had been thinking about ways to better example a “Godly love”, and with his story, my thinking became a little clearer. 

Being an example to others by showing a compassionate love is what I believe everyone should be looking to achieve in life. Then, after listening to an old favorite by Whitney Houston last night called, “Greatest Love,” at my daughter’s middle school band recital, I decided that it’s not me I should be loving the most of all but God first and then others. The greatest love of all should not be about loving myself but others.  My pastor’s illustration compelled me to do even more for those that I encounter every day. His story went something like this: 

“I was hastily picking up a few items at the grocery store when I ran into an 83-year-old widow, who recently had a botched surgery.  Her hip was noticeably out of place, and, as she made her way down the aisles, it was obvious that she was in much pain.  We spent a few moments sharing with each other as we both made our way to the check-out stand.  As she stacked her groceries on the counter, I got the attention of the cashier and whispered, ‘Put her items on my bill.’  

When the woman was told that she ‘owed nothing,’ she got a little disturbed, with words, ‘What do you mean?  I can pay for my own food.’  She then turned to me and said, ‘You are the culprit; you paid for my food.’  I went on to explain that this was my opportunity to bless someone.  Finally, with a few tears, she accepted my gift.  

After getting home, I discovered that the check-out lady, most likely in all the excitement, had failed to charge me for my groceries. I quickly called the store, apologized for the oversight, and was told, ‘You owe nothing. The person behind you heard the discussion you had with the lady and he paid for your groceries’.”

This is a great illustration showing not only a love for others, but something that can latch itself to others and becomes contagious. When someone pays for your meal in a drive through or in a restaurant, it’s a love that can’t be reasonably explained except to say it somehow breaks a mold of selfishness.  

It is often not what we say, our professionalism, or all the other things we do, regardless of how important they are; but rather our common acts of daily care that plant the seeds of compassionate love in a broken world. 

I encourage you to get out and break the mold for which the world so easily places us.   A Godly love is what I am chasing. I hope and pray this excites you to do the same. 

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