I was recently shopping with my wife, Pat, and my daughter, Caroline. One of the clothes stores we were in had a great marketing department, which was evident by the nice, comfy couch for men to sit on while the women-folk looked around. There were even some books close by and I ended up with a copy of “Humans of New York.” It’s one of many books out there which collect pictures of people from a particular city and include quotes either by those being photographed or by the photographer. It was my kind of book and I was immediately hooked. I lost track of time and what was going on around me.
My favorite quote in the book was below the close-up picture of an elderly woman. Here is what she said:
“When my husband was dying, I said: ‘Moe, how am I supposed to live without you?’ He told me: ‘Take the love you have for me and spread it around.’”
Having done two funerals that week and dealing with people who had suffered loss; that quote really resonated with me. It struck a chord in my heart because of how much sense it made. What a beautiful way to move forward from loss in a proactive way, I thought.
It occurred to me later that what the elderly lady said was even Biblical. In John chapter 13 we read about Jesus and his time with the disciples before he was arrested and crucified. Here is part of what Jesus shared with them (verses 33-35):
“ Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The disciples had poured three years of their lives into following and loving Jesus. Now he was making it clear he was leaving and he made it clear what they were to do – take the love they had for him and spread it around. That is what genuine Christ followers have been doing for the last 2,000 or so years. It is what we do here at Fellowship of the Parks. We take the love we have for Christ and we spread it around.
For all of you who have suffered the loss of a loved one recently, let me encourage you to move forward proactively. Take the love you had for that person and, with the help and guidance of Jesus, spread it around. Not only will you feel better, but the world will be a better place as well.