Here is something I found to be very interesting, the word love is mentioned in the KJV 280 times and translated in the Message 437 times; the word hate is mentioned in the KJV 85 times and in the message 84 times, don’t you think that is something to think about? Let me ask you which of those words is used more in our every day language today love or hate?
The first time love is mentioned in the Bible it is concerning (are you ready for this?) FOOD! I kid you not, Genesis 27:4 “And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.” The second time was about love for a woman, Genesis 29:20 “So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.”
I think that looking around in the world today, listening to commercials on TV we hear more about diet plans and gym memberships and on-line dating sites than anything except maybe women’s personal products, laxatives and ambulance chasing lawyers, followed closely behind by ads for Charmin toilet paper, related? You think?
I love the feeling of being in love, to feel the rush that happens when that one special person enters the room; the flush you feel creeping up your neck to your cheeks and hoping that no one notices, especially when you are young and it is first love. When I listen to the song “When I fall in love, it will be forever”, by the Lettermen, I can vividly remember the first time I felt that emotion and the very moment it happened. But I can also remember the first time I felt intense hate, and I was only four years old. It was when I was taken to the service especially for children at the Georgia Camp Meeting. The director and his wife greeted me as my mother, very pregnant with my brother, brought me to the front door of the little chapel. When mother left I didn’t know anyone there and was looking around feeling lost and lonely. The man kindly leaned down and offered to find a seat for me and his wife for some reason unknown to me treated me very mean. She told me in no uncertain and mean tones, and yes I can see her beady brown eyes and frizzy bangs as she towered over me, to quit crying and sit down, that my mother wouldn’t be back for a long time and then she pinched me on the arm! It scared me so that I sat very still until mother returned for me. I guess I thought I had done something to deserve that treatment because I never told mother why I refused to go back to that children’s church and opted instead to sit on the hard benches in the sawdust of the Tabernacle where at least I could lean against her welcoming, if swollen, tummy and sleep during the sermon. I never forgot that woman’s face, but I also never forgot her very kind husband. A few years before mother died I had the chance to take her to a reunion of her college class and to my surprise there in front of me stood the couple I have just told you about, I had the urge to go and tell her that I had remembered her unkindness to me for all of my growing up years, but you already know that I did not do that. Of course I had shared these details to my mother since I grew up so I pointed them out to her. I stayed on the other side of the room from them but I stole several glances at the woman’s bitter expression and her husband who had maintained his dimples, and just decided to forgive her. Later I found that she had never been able to carry a child to birth and had been through the pain of losing a child several times and I felt glad that I had forgiven her in my heart and not caused her further pain by calling her out all these years later. About a month after we had seen her I heard that she had died.
Why have I related this to you? Because someone questioned me as to whether I had anything to say about ‘loving the unlovable’. Well I won’t say that I loved her that would plainly be a lie, however I was willing to forgive her, which opens the path for one of you reading this, to forgive me for some unkind deed I have been guilty of toward you! God loves the most ugly, the most deplorable critter and person on the face of this earth, how do I know?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believed in Him would not die but would have everlasting life.”
Forgive someone today then tell me how much better you feel!