I don't know how He did it.
Loving (agapao) people I mean.
Jesus had this incredible way of loving everyone, even the ones who despised, wounded and killed Him. I find that incredible. Breathtaking even.
Personally, I have a hard time with it. I'd like to think that it should be easier for me; but it's not. The whole Theologian-Scholar-Pastor thing suggests that I know the meaning, importance, implications and complications of love. Even though I have studied the topic seriously; written papers on it and tried to embrace the concept - I find that more often than not I simply miss the boat.
I have feelings and they get hurt. I want the love returned and its not. I am human and I get tired of the pain... I am a middle-aged man and I believe that I should get a break... (ha!) Being crucified is painful...
And there is the rub. God is willing to go the mat for me. That is love. He went all the way; no questions asked.
I guess the question that faces me, faces us, is: are we willing to go to the mat; to go the distance... for love? Are we willing to 'sacrifice' our ego for love? Are we willing to give it all up for love? Are we willing to love and never see that love returned... for His sake... to endure the pain of truly loving? I wish I could always say, "of course!" But sometimes I feel too weak and tired; too hurt; too human...
I loved a bunch of kids and former church members this last week - hopefully, as Jesus himself does - and I may never see them again.
In the last 36 hours I've seen three of my best friends and tried to love them with all of my heart... I pray that they know that love deeply.
Loving people is difficult; they may not love you back. Heck, they may despise you. But the key to loving isn't them - it's not his, her or their response - its you and Him.
When you love (agapao) anyone - you are loving Him. It's not about the friend, family member, enemy or anonymous recipient of love - it's about you loving God in that person.
And so each day I'm going to love. Maybe I will get a smile, a :-) or a thank you... maybe I'll get an "I love you too" or not...
It won't matter.
Because in the end, I'm loving Him... God.