My granddaughter didn't feel well so I put her to bed, covered her, and lay beside her to comfort her. I told her I hated to see her feel bad and wished she felt so much better, "because I love you."
"I know," she said as she smiled warmly.
"And I will always love you until I die. And when I die I will love you from heaven. I will love you forever."
She snuggled closer, and I thought. I would die for her if I had to.
Then the epiphany: That is how Jesus loves: now and forever. That is what Jesus did. He died for me. How I love my granddaughter, is a small sampling of how Jesus loves me: now and forevermore. And I felt so honored that I had sampled just a bit of learning to love as Jesus loves.
But, it is easy to love my granddaughter, or members of my family. But it will be a difficult step in learning to love as Jesus loved. Things start coming apart when I try to love them that curse me, and pray for them which despitefully use me. On my own I can't do that. I must have the Holy Spirit to show me the way. Learning to love as Jesus loved is too big for my finite mind. All I know is I have to humble myself and pray - pray that I may learn to love to those who don't necessarily love me; learn to love more fully; learn to love as Jesus loved.
Luke 6: 28 -- "Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you."