Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When Love Looks For Us

Gloria died yesterday. She had been a shut-in for over ten years. As her preacher I must have gone to see her over 1000 times. She would never have been what you called an important person. She didn’t have a pleasant exterior. She could complain a lot. I quit asking her how she felt when I went to see her because she might look halfway contented when I came through the door, but as soon as she verbalized the answer to my question her demeanor dropped 1000 points to the despair side of things.

Whenever I would go to see her she would ask about how the people in the church were, and she would ask about our grandchildren. I’d taken all three of them to see her at the nursing home at times when they came to visit us. She brightened up more than I ever saw her when they were in the room. Sometimes when they came to town I wasn’t able to take them to see her, and I knew she’d be disappointed, so I tried to talk about how busy we were when they got here, but she could be rather importunate about having them come see her.

Was Gloria needy? Yes, she was a very needy person, but then we’re not? She had love for people, but she looked for it for herself as Robinson Crusoe continually scanned the horizon for a sail. At least once, I know she got it.

Our grandson, Daniel, aged three and a half, went with me to see her the last time they were up here. I couldn’t get the others to come see her that day, but he was happy to come with me. I even got him to stand next to her so I could take a picture which I had a copy made of and gave to her later. Then it came time to go.

We were almost out of the room when he turned around and went back up to her at the bed and looked her full in the face. Only a child would have such boldness of love. Without any prompting from me he said to her, “I love you!” and then left the room.

Love comes in all kinds of packages. Getting the pure uncalculating love of a child is the greatest experience. You cannot contrive to get it. You cannot make it be given, but when it is given it is as though a billion dollar check was deposited in your checking account. There is only one love greater than the love of a child. Jesus knew it when he juxtaposed the sincere love of a little one with the love of His Father.

We look for love, but the real joy comes when love looks for us. I’m so thankful I was there to see Gloria get some of that love she longed for. It was a foretaste of the love she is experiencing now.


  1. What a great post!! I love the innocent ministries of little children.

  2. These thoughts which began as a few comments for inclusion in the funeral service tomorrow originally came to me when I was sitting by Gloria's bedside Monday morning as she was dying. All of a sudden there came the picture of Daniel and his expression of love to her six months earlier. It's one of those things you're not prepared for when you see it, and the significance of it becomes more important as the days pass. Anyway, I thought I should post the picture I had taken and referred to. Daniel didn't quite get next to her for that, but then at that age it's amazing you can get them still long enough to focus on them. You can see on Gloria's table a picture of our youngest grandchild, Alyssa. She also had a couple of Jenessa which you can't see in this shot.

  3. There is so much truth to the comment about how we look for the love, but the real joy is when love looks for us. The love of Christ is this kind of love. I will admit that in my selfish need to be noticed, I do not always reflect that kind of love and grace.