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…
Which one of those words is used more in our everyday language today love or hate?
The first-time love is mentioned in the Bible it is concerning… wait for it…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 besides women’s personal products, laxatives and ambulance chasing lawyers… of course closely behind that are ads for Charmin toilet paper, related? You think?
Instead of saying ‘you’, or ‘we’, I am just going to get personal here… I remember the flush of first love, the breathless butterflies when you see that special person, so listening to the song “When I fall in love, it will be forever“, by the Lettermen, I can vividly remember that emotion, the very moment it happened, sweet isn’t it?
But can I remember the first time I felt intense hate?
Matter of fact yes, I can.
It was the year I was 4 years old and sent to the children’s service at the Camp Meeting right here in Buford, Georgia. 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 my mother left me I didn’t know anyone there so the man leaned down to me and told me he would find a seat for me, his wife for some reason was very mean to me. She told me in no uncertain and mean tones, I can see her in my mind now as she towered over me, telling me to quit crying and sit down that my mother wouldn’t be back for a long time, she ended by giving me a pinch on the arm. I thought I must have done something very wrong, so I sat very still until mother returned for me. I never told her 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. At least there I could lean against her 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 ago, I had the chance to take my mother to a reunion of her college class, to my surprise that couple was there! Of course, I had shared these details to my mother after 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 old, bitter expression and her husband who had maintained his dimples, and just decided to forgive her.
I found that she had never been able to carry a child to birth 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 that I learned that she had died.
Why have I told you this? Because someone asked the question, did I have anything to say about ‘loving the unlovable’? Well, I can’t say that I loved her, but I was willing to forgive which opens the path for, maybe one of you reading this, to forgive me for some unkind deed I have been guilty of toward you…and I hope there is no one I have ever wronged in that way!
God loves the worst person on earth, how do I know?
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes on Him will not die but have eternal life!”