Shannon found our wedding scrapbook as we moved into our new house. God, I can’t believe I get to share my life with this woman. I told her that night that she was still my girlfriend and that’s true. I also get to be in love with the woman who made me a father. And I’m in love with the woman who reminds me of my best when I’m at my worst. But today? Today…
Today I’ve been in love with the woman who will fight just as hard for someone else’s kid as she would for her own.
I’m proud of my wife. She wrings her hands for about two seconds and then she rolls up her sleeves. She loves deeper and wider than most people will ever know. My wife loves crazy, radical, scandalous Jesus-style. She’s got love-dirt under her fingernails. She sees Jesus face to face while I’m telling someone where to go find him. She gets mad at how screwed up this world is and how unjustly people are treated. And yes, it gets her down…for a while. And then she keeps on loving again. Not loving just me and our kids. Any scoundrel can do that. She loves “the other” because that’s what Jesus said to do! Sound awesome? Well just try it for a week and tell me how it goes because it will grind you down if you’re not serious.
I came home to eat lunch on a day that she was supposed to be off and found her on the phone with the mother of a young man who worked for her. He had been arrested and the local beat reporter had put the story online where the anonymous internet trolls were being their usual racist selves. Meanwhile my wife was finding free legal counsel for a scared family with limited resources. By the end of the day she had managed to get on the phone with the man locked up downtown, encouraging him to come clean with the officers over the details that led to his arrest. Then she went to work where customers who recognized the mugshot on the internet complained about the kind of people employed there.
I love my wife, not just because she loves me, but also because she loves people she has no business loving.
‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-48 NRSV
Love when it’ll cost you.
Love when you’d be a fool to do so.
Love when love might not fix it.
Love when love might not be enough.
Love when even Jesus knows you’re losing.
Love because it’s the only thing we haven’t tried yet.