Today I was thinking about several distinct examples of love I’ve seen in the past few days.
1. I was tucking Annie into bed the other night after a very long and exhausting day in which Eric and I struggled a great deal with her disobedience. I leaned down and kissed her and said, “Annie, no matter what you do, I want you to know that I still love you.” She looked me in the eyes and said, “Mommy, no matter what you do, I still love you too.”
2. Our friends Bryan and Linda came to visit us on Sunday morning. (With friend Yasko and Annie and Olivia)
We had a nice lunch, then we took them to our afternoon worship service to say greetings (below), and then Eric drove them to the airport.
Bryan and Linda had been on a short-term team that had come to work with us in Sanda two years ago. During that time, they stayed with a non-Christian family we didn’t know well for a one week homestay. Despite some challenges during that time, we were impressed with their love for the M. family.
Last year, the M. family went to LA to visit Bryan and Linda, and they had a great time going all over the place. This spring, a member from their former short-term team was sharing in church about the importance of the relationships that were established when they visited Sanda. Bryan and Linda felt called to continue their relationships with the M. famiy, and so they gave up other vacation plans and made a trip back to Japan- to spend the week with the Ms. Thanks to Bryan and Linda’s visit, we have become reacquainted with the M family, and Mrs. M. is planning on attending an event that we are doing next week with the team coming in.
I think – that’s love. Thanks, Bryan and Linda, for modeling to all of us that relationships are central to the Gospel.
3. Yesterday, I felt so much joy despite sitting in some Osaka traffic. We were going to pick up our friend Laura at the airport. Laura called us last week and asked if she could come and spend some time with our family. Last year, she had come as a mother’s helper for a month or two. She became like a sister and dear friend to us. Her arrival yesterday has already revived my heart; the way that she lives her life with ease and with love is a gift to our family. Here she is helping me walk the kids and Molly to an event at Owen’s school this morning:
We went through some great missionary training (Wycliffe’s training on Interpersonal Skills) a few years ago, and the basic premise was “It’s all about relationships.” In the end, our relationships –horizontally and vertically — are all that really matter. It’s been good to be reminded of that this week by my daughter, Bryan and Linda, and Laura.