The Day After Valentine's

  • Feb. 15, 2006
  • #6208

Valentine's Day was yesterday and I'm so glad you had a chance to hear from my husband, Ken. I tell ya, he's the best! I cannot believe 23 years of marriage have gone by so quickly, and I've only grown closer. Our love has only deepened these many years, especially with this disability. Because my wheelchair has in a strange way caused us to get closer. Now let me explain how. 

You see, when most people think of loving someone, they think of giving. But I have learned to understand that loving also means "asking." Because love does not always do just the giving. Love occasionally does the asking. And, boy, I have to ask for a lot of things. Bless Ken's heart. What inspires me is the example of Jesus. At the most critical time in His life on earth - the night before His crucifixion - Jesus continued to show love to His disciples, but He also cried out to them for help. He asked them, "Be with me. Just stay with me; be with me through this time." I'm glad Jesus felt free to ask for help - that's how much He loved the disciples. Because you see, asking is love's way of getting very, very close.  

For instance, imagine this. I bet you know someone - a person who lives near you, someone with whom you work or go to church - and for years you've connected with each other, but there has always been a certain distance between the two of you. But then one day, let's say, that person who lives two doors down, or that person who works across the hallway, one day he asks for help. Maybe their car is broken down or they need a ride to church.  

Let me ask. How does that make you feel? Well, you probably would not only be eager to help, but you would be deeply touched that this acquaintance, this neighbor felt free enough to call you and ask you to lend a hand. It makes a person feel good to be needed, and it's nice to experience the distance begin to close between the two of you, right? It's nice to feel the formality become not so formal, but more normal. All because that coworker, that neighbor asked for help. 

And this is why I think it is especially endearing when Jesus turns to us and asks us for something. He is always giving to you and me -- no question about that. But when He asks something of you, He has reached out to you in order to close the distance, in order to drop the formality. So what's He asking of you today? Is He asking your time? Is He asking that you give Him a certain habit? Is He asking you to support someone He knows and loves?  

Remember, love does not always do the giving, friend. Occasionally it does the asking - I certainly know that in this wheelchair of mine when I ask Ken for help. Nothing closes the distance between you and someone else (especially your Savior) as when the two give and receive in a real exchange of love. It's one way of getting very, very close. 

© Joni and Friends

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