As I Love You

Posted on April 30, 2024 by Published by

This week my children were learning about energy. We set up an experiment with toy cars — one was placed in front of another, and a third was pushed into the two stationary ones.

The forward motion caused the front car to move, but not much. “Most of the energy goes into the car in the middle, not the car on the end,” my daughter concluded.

I asked her why she seems to have so much energy, and I seem to have so little.

“Because you’re old,” she replied confidently.

Most days I feel like that first car, barreling at life with all my energy and love and good intentions, only to have it almost entirely absorbed by the proverbial middle car. It’s so easy to be discouraged. The devil so badly wants us to feel discouraged.

But the law of love is not unlike the law of conservation of energy. Love is neither created nor destroyed. It is only transferred from one form to another. And yes, sometimes it certainly seems like it disappears. It appears to get lost between my hands and the plate of dinner that goes uneaten or evaporates off of my lips as words I fear are never heard. It is spat upon as a commandment the world would prefer I do not keep.

But we are not called to simply love one another — to love when it seems effective and productive and appreciated. We are called to love as Christ loved: recklessly, selflessly, and yes, even without logic. We are called to love with a love that doesn’t give up and is never withdrawn. A love that doesn’t fear death or the world’s hatred. A love that stands willing to argue, to be reviled, to be dismissed.

We are called to be that first car, hurtling ourselves against a world that isn’t ready to accept or understand us. And we trust that, even when we can’t see how, the love that seems to disappear simply changes forms.

“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” — John 15:12


Readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter: Lectionary 56

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