“But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13b
I maneuvered the morning traffic, our 3 year old screamed his frustrations at the world while the sun shone brightly on our 6 year old’s head buried in a book. I was running close to the bell again. Someday, I thought, this-getting-kids ready-in-the mornings-thing is going to get easier.
I had just referred an all-out brawl between these two on who was going to turn off the TV. If you see our 3 year run out the front door screaming, it’s not because I’m beating him. It’s simply that I let his sister turn off the TV, or the light, or something else this time. Lord, these children are infinitely creative. They never cease to amaze me as to what they think to fight over.
After everyone was in their respective places, I power walked down the elementary school hallway to my car and the work day ahead. I tried to imagine what the voice mail that came in entailed. I have a stick shift, and a 3 year old, which pretty much means answering my phone while driving is nearly impossible. If I am not changing gears, then I am navigating endless questions, or on this morning, complaints. “Mommy, I am mad at you!” He declared. (To which I managed to calmly reply, “That’s okay honey that will happen, just keep moving, we are on a schedule….”)
I saw a little boy out of the corner of my eye. He had his full concentration focused on the flimsy Styrofoam breakfast tray he was carrying to his class. It happened in slow motion – his milk tumbling into his grits, his grits about to hit the floor. I rushed over and got there in the nick of time. “Can I help you out with that?” I offered. He just glanced up at me, readjusted his stow of goodies and proceeded on.
“I love you!” He replied over his shoulder. “I love the whole world!” One of the Special Education teachers came up then, and helped him on his course. My heart went out to him and his generous love offering. I thought of his mom, and his team of teachers and paraprofessionals. I don’t know what it’s like to walk in their shoes, but I applaud them and appreciate them. This kid must absorb a lot of love to want to so freely give it -reflecting so well what regularly shines on him. This little one: barely three feet tall, living out 1 Corinthians 13:13, walking in step with the greatest thing.
His morning routine is not punctuated with the passing of another Accelerated Reader test, or the mastery of arithmetic, or thoughts of after school activities. His morning is different, because he is different. This morning, though, it was not limitation I saw. Instead, it was a different ability that I fell witness to: the ability to so purely live out the greatest of these.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
“We love because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
God’s compassion and patience are striking. He hangs in with imperfect people striving to love Him perfectly.