Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Thursday, July 30, 2009
A Moment of Love
Sometimes Anna asks me these really dark ‘what if’ questions like, “Dad, what if I walked out of the front door and got swept away by a giant storm to a far, far, far away country and you never saw me ever again? Would you be sad?” My reply to these types of queries usually goes something like this, “First of all, no more Wizard of Oz for you. And yes! Of course I would be sad! I would be devastated!” Anna frequently dreams up scenarios in which she gets lost and can’t find her way home, or is taken away from us and forced to live with some other family or simply dies in very dramatic (and often cinematic) ways. The thing is that these scenarios all end with the same question: “Will you be sad? Will you miss me?” I think there is a place inside all of us that wants to know if we are loved and whether or not we would be missed when we go.
I read something pretty disturbing this morning in 2 Chronicles 21. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah had just died and passed the keys of the kingdom to his eldest son, Jehoram. Now, when you’re reading about Old Testament kings, it can be pretty easy to get lost… I mean, there were the kings of Judah and then there were the kings of Israel, the southern and northern kingdoms respectively; and which ones were good and which ones were bad? And who became good from being bad, and which ones became not so awesome in the end after being fairly awesome in the beginning? It’s a big, confusing mess, which is basically true of everyone’s family tree. For now, all you need to know is that Jehoshaphat was one of the awesome ones. He was a great king who loved and walked with God his whole life, but his son Jehoram was not.
As soon as Jehoram got the keys to the oval office, he murdered all his brothers to preempt any possibility of threat. He had married a daughter of Ahab (possibly the worst dude ever) and had a life that was summed up in this statement, “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” At one point Elijah sent him a letter of rebuke (which is never what you want to find in your mailbox) that basically said, “You are not like your dad. You have caused God’s people to sin. You murdered your own brothers who were better men than you and now you will get a horrible and slowly-acting disease of the bowels and die in pain.” This is how 2 Chronicles 21 ends, “Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away to no one’s regret and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.”
He passed away to no one’s regret… whoa! I don’t want to be that guy! I want there to be some tears at my funeral! I want folks to miss me! I was thinking about this and trying to figure out how to guarantee a different end than Jehoram and thought of Paul’s words at the very beginning of Ephesians 5 where he says, “Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us…” It struck me that living a whole life of love feels like a pretty tall order. How can you live a whole life filled with love for everyone and at all times? I don’t really know that any of us can… but what if we change the scope a bit? I mean, ‘life’ is too big a chunk to swallow in one. Even days are not really bite-sized. My goal is to live a moment of love, and then the next one, and then the next one. Hopefully, I’ll string enough moments together that I can say I’ve lived a day of love and then hopefully (and by His strength) I can string some days together and live a life of love. You don’t want a dry funeral. You want folks to miss you. That starts here, in this moment. Make it a moment of love.