"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.' Matt 25:37-40 The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
There is a test for the "evidence" of love.
When we can give ourselves willingly over to another who is "overlooked" or "ignored" - that is when we truly show our stripes as people who understand what practical love really means.
Love is dirty.
It gets in, rolls up its sleeves, digs in and DOES.
It holds the head of the one who is puking on its shoes; it scrapes away the gore and grime of every day living to make ready for the next days filth; it bears the tears of another and halves the pain; it continually strives to make peace where there is no hope of peace to be found; it sorts, it tosses, it collates, it aspires, it hopes, it feeds, it cuts and it wounds: it seeps and it coheres; it gives and wants for nothing. Dirty practical Love hangs from a tree and bleeds, drinks sour wine and wears thorns on its head.
Love like this is in your face and uber pragmatic. It won't take bullshit... it just IS as it IS and refuses to bend to pretty little pictures of romance and fantasy.
THIS love is available to all of us. We are each offered it as a free gift - if only we'd open the wrapper on that gift and go "wow!" more often.
Some people call this gift Grace. :)