John 13:35 – If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples. (GNB)
Recently, we had a Sunday storm with winds of ninety kilometres per hour. Rain fell steadily, making slick the ice-covered church steps and parking lot. Because of the wind, I found it difficult even to stand without being blown sideways — truly, an invitation to a painful fall.
I had driven to the church entrance to discharge my passengers, and as I backed away, my vehicle came to a sudden stop with tires spinning on the glassy surface. I wasn't going anywhere! My wife, Freda, and I were to conduct the worship service within a few minutes. And here I was, blocking cars from reaching the church door.
I climbed out of the car, and stepping very carefully, retrieved a shovel from the car's trunk. Then, I looked about for a bit of gravel to put under the front wheels. But no gravel was in sight. Suddenly, Freda appeared beside me, and we both skittered about unsteadily. No one had asked her to help, but risking a fall, there she was, willing to assist in any way.
Strangely, as we slipped and slithered about, a scene from the musical Fiddler On the Roof flashed through my mind. Do you remember that Tevye asks his wife, "Do you love me?" Golde, thinking his question is foolish, replies, "For twenty-five years, I've washed your clothes, cooked your meals, cleaned your house, given you children, milked your cow. If that's not love, what is?" But Tevye persists, "Then you love me?" and finally Golde admits, "I suppose I do."
How often we express love in action rather than words, sometimes with no thought for our own safety or wellbeing. We see a need, and we act. That's love, real love in action, love that is sometimes too deep for words. I have always liked the thought expressed by the apostle John, "Let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth." (1 John 3:18 RSV)
By the way, as we stood helplessly that morning beside our vehicle, an unexpected sander drove up, and shortly our situation was remedied. And do you know what? I forgot to look and see if our guardian angel was driving that truck!
Prayer: Loving and gracious God, as we continue our days, may we ever watch for opportunities to lend a hand, to offer a comforting word. Help us to remember that Your love never ends; Your mercy is new every morning. Lead in Your way, Your never-ending love. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.