Trailing streamers of pink and gold and purple, dawn came stealing through my bedroom window. She presented me with a beautiful basket, adorned with red rosebuds and green leaves, intertwined with delicate blossoms of babies’ breath. Then she commanded me to fill it with all the love that has ever been given to me. When I asked her where I should look, she said, “Ah, that is the mystery. You must seek until you find enough love to fill the basket completely.”
And so I began my search. I traveled in dusty corridors of memory to my childhood home to find my parents. Mother had even more love for me than she had rules, and they were many. I knew that she loved me with her last breath. Dad was mantled with an aura of love, which he shared with me in abundance. Their love surrounded me as long as they lived. To this I added the love given to me by my brothers and my sister. Covering every day of our lives, even through youthful squabbles, was a warm blanket of remembrance, sewn with love inside each stitch. Also, I sought all the love given so generously to me by many adults who had shaped my young life. Looking in my basket now, I saw that the love I had gathered was so far down, I could hardly see it.
I journeyed on in time beyond the hour when I met my husband, and I thought of the many years of happiness his tender love has brought to me. I had imagined when we were first married that no wife had ever received more love than I, but I have come to realize that true love grows through sunshine and storms with every passing day. “Surely,” I thought, “my basket is almost full.” But alas! With all the love I had collected, the level was still very low. After I had added the love of my husband’s family, who showed by their actions that they loved me, I could see very little difference.
Next, I collected the love from our precious son and daughter. From the time they took their first baby steps, I knew they loved me, and as they have grown up to become parents themselves, I have continued to hold their love close to my heart. I put in also the love brought to me by our dear daughter-in-law and son-in-law, as well as the special love from our grandchildren. Yet, my basket remained very light.
I looked to find love from good friends I’ve made down through the years, people with whom I’ve shared good times and bad. I even considered finding love from some of the multitude of students I’ve taught. With all the love which has been gifted to me, I could measure only a meager amount.
In desperation now to fill my basket, I sought out the love of the pets we’ve had. Three little poodles, with more love than they had curls, had made their love offerings with a wag of the tail and a sloppy kiss. This seemed to make no difference at all to the amount in the basket.
Disappointed at my failure to do as dawn had commanded, I slumped down on the sofa in the den. Before me on the coffee table was a Bible; I opened it and began to leaf through pages to find verses I had underlined. “How could I ever have forgotten how much God loves me? “ I wondered. The verses that I read reminded me that He had thought of me before I was born, that He had counted the hairs on my head, that He would be with me always, that His love endures forever, and that nothing can ever separate me from His love. He even loved me so much that he called me His child. As I reflected on this love, so great that He sent His Only Son to die for my sins, my tears began to fall. With dimmed eyes I noticed the basket in my lap was now not only full, but overflowing. While I was thankful for the blessing of being loved by many, no love could ever be as great as God’s love for me. The mystery was solved. His love is more than enough.
Psalm 136: 1-26
Romans 8: 35-39
1st John 3:1
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