Saturday, June 29, 2019

Extravagant Love

Daily Gratitude Year 7-Day 179: Today, I am grateful for extravagant love.

"Extravagant love often means coloring outside the lines and going beyond the norms." - Bob Goff

Children can teach us the practice of extravagant. They are fearless in loving outside the lines until we teach them differently. 

In our current world, where so much evil  is searching out our children, I am not suggesting we teach them to be careless or unguarded with their safety. One of our biggest challenges as parents is to help our children see potential dangers around them. 

Still, there is an innocence in childhood that helps them love more freely. Our world needs their example. They don't worry about running out of love. They share it without reservation.  We can learn so much if we sit back and watch the children. 

When we grow up, we become more suspicious of extravagant love every time we are hurt. Hurting people hurt people. It is a fact of life. Yet, when we choose to love extravagantly, we impact the climate and the culture. Extravagant love doesn't demand reciprocation. The joy is in the giving. 

Jesus was the epitome of extravagant love. He did all things in love, even the hard things. There were a few occasions when he was the recipient of such love. There were a handful who tried to return his love in a way that was special and out of the ordinary. One of my favorites is the "immoral woman" who wept at his feet before she poured expensive perfume on them and wiped them with her hair. Here is the passage:

"When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume.  Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”" - Luke 7:37-39

Jesus knew. He loved her in spite of her past. He believed in her present. He had a plan for her future. 

Her behavior seems odd to us, but it wasn't in that time and culture. Her sacrifice of the costly perfume and her humility in wiping his feet with her hair were certainly noteworthy, even in 33 AD. 

How can we practice extravagant love? I think "practice" is the operative word. We learn by doing. One act at a time.  

Today, I am grateful for extravagant love.

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