Love Me? Love My Dog!

June 4th, 2011 Comments

sarah smileIf you know an older person with a dog, you have had a glimpse of unconditional – if not unhealthy – love.

Often these dogs are small, obnoxious, and very noisy.  Sometimes they are fat, un-groomed, and have serious halitosis.  For most of us, we really don’t want anything to do with these smelly little creatures.

However, for the loved ones in our lives, these animals are their heart and soul. If you don’t show love and affection to these beasts, you have committed the unpardonable sin.  You might as well stab them in the heart with a dull knife – it would hurt them less.

I feel the same way about my children.”

I feel the same way about my children.  If you love me, you will love my children.  The interesting thing about this, is that I really don’t need much physical or verbal affection.  However, my children do.  If you love and dote on my kids, you will earn my undying support, love, and loyalty.  If you ignore my children, you wound me to my core.

My kids are deprived of the type of unconditional love that only a grandparent can provide.  All of their grandparents are far away – one is dead, another is emotionally distant, and the other three are geographically distant.  We had some awesome surrogate grandparents in Colorado Springs, but unfortunately we had to move away from them.

I crave the kind of love that only family can provide my kids.  Hugs, snuggles, tickles, treats – the kind of attention my aunts, great aunts, and grandparents used to give me.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist for us right now.  In addition, my family is going through some really difficult times, now is when my kids need extra attention and support.

We have a couple of trusted friends who give this kind of love to our kids, but some of them are 1500 miles away, and others have their own lives, their own families, and their own struggles.  It really does take a village – and we can’t rely on just a few people.

But there is something bigger here – in fact, the above narratives are merely analogous to a bigger issue facing our culture.  That is, who takes care of God’s kids?

Jesus said, “Whatever you have done for the least of these [children of mine], you have done to me.”  In other words, “If you love me, love my children.”

If we ignore God’s children, we are demonstrating our lack of love for God. If you ignore my children, the message I receive is that you don’t love me.  If I loan you my car, and you fail to check the oil, return it with an empty tank, and dirty, you are sending a very real message that our friendship is unimportant.  If our relationship were important, you would demonstrate it by taking care of my stuff, taking care of my family, and showing it through your actions.

Don’t tell me you love me.  Don’t try to fix me.  Just love me – by showing it to those who are most important in my life.

Love me?  Love my kids!”

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