On Friday evening we had our school’s graduation ceremony. One of the things I observed about this year’s seniors is the aroma they elevated on campus by deciding to play hard in the final innings. They didn’t quit in the bottom of the seventh, so to speak, but by God’s grace they decided to love where they were, through which they became even more lovely as a class and left the school more lovely.
It’s common among men to excuse our checked-out loves. We tell ourselves stories about how much more loving (and effective and happy) we would be if – if our circumstances were better or the people around us were less annoying or if we could just get more sleep. But we are not told to love in greener pastures, we can fertilize the field we’re in by our loving deaths.
Love is part of the fruit His Spirit grows in us (Galatians 5:22). We love one another as we are loved (John 13:34). “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Perhaps we should be surprised not that God had His Son die so young, but that He had His Son stay so long, just being with His disciples and loving His own and loving them to the end (John 13:1). That sort of love in the flesh can change a class, a school, a home, a city, a generation.