Day 79: Love is the Greatest


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“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Within the last two weeks, I rescued two 3-4 week old kittens who had strayed from their mother and were very sick. One I rescued out of a storm drain before a storm came and the other who showed up at our doorstep the day after we buried the other kitten. I fed them, loved them, nursed and administered meds to them with a syringe, prayed for them, wrapped them up and snuggled with them each day. It was like having a newborn baby again. They were my new babies. By the mercy of God, I had become their new caregiver, encouraging and loving them along the way, helping them to eat, giving them sunshine when they found energy to play, walk, and tucked them in when it was time to rest. I was determined to help them and love them and nurse them back to good health.

Yesterday morning after returning from our Run for God group training run, I found the second kitty on her side in distress. Within the hour and after keeping her medicated, wrapping her in the heating pad, praying, encouraging, crying, she too passed suddenly and unexpectedly. I just sat there holding on to this precious baby kitten and watched as it helplessly fought to take its last breath.

I cried out to God to please show me the lessons He was providing in these emotionally exhausting last few weeks. My heart was overwhelmed with grief and discouragement and now I didn’t know how to look at this situation.

Within the next few hours I met a very special new friend that God placed in my life at the utmost important time. As we let our boys play and watch the story of The Lorax, I felt as if God was teaching me something deeper in these last few weeks. Something more important than anything.

This Dr. Seuss quote popped up at the end of the movie “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Then it hit me.

Until we invest and nurture the ones we love and the friendships we have at every opportunity, things are not going to get better. We are obligated to perform the works of mercy, according to our own ability and the need of our neighbor. You see, this is how God wants us to show love to our neighbors. This is one of His greatest commands. “Love your neighbor as yourself…” Mark 12:31

“For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked, and you covered me; sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.” Matthew 25:35-36

This is the example of how He lived, how He died, how we need to learn to sacrifice – no matter how the story ends (or as in my situation, if the kittens will live). It is hard, but He wants us to give all the love we can till we are all out and then come to Him to ask for help and how to love more. Besides, you never know who you may help along the way.

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

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