Legacy of Love, Part 3
Stay In Love
It’s not always easy to remain in the places our love is needed most. Sometimes we want to escape. Sometimes even our very lives may be in danger. But this is war. And in war we must risk our lives at times. But this isn’t a war of hell, it is a war of heaven.
It wasn’t just the Ten Booms that stayed in Holland, risking their lives to protect the Jews being hunted down by the Nazi’s. Thousands of others from many walks of life stayed as well. They stayed despite, or perhaps because of the danger. Many stayed even though escape was possible. Why? I can’t say for certain that everyone stayed for the cause of loving one-another. However, many stayed for just that reason. And perhaps God was working His love through other motivations as well.
In a panic Barbara raced through the streets of Amsterdam. Gentiles weren’t supposed to be out. Only the Jews were supposed to be on the streets at that particular time. The Nazis had gathered trucks and men and were rounding up people—more specifically Jews—like animals and they didn’t want the gentiles getting in the way of the process. It was supposed to be a clean operation. Everyone on the street was supposed to be wearing a yellow Star of David and everyone was going to be picked up. But Barbara had to get across town and she didn’t have a star. Bridges and checkpoints lay between her and her destination. She was afraid.
Eventually Barbara successfully made it to her destination. Helped along the way by the kindness of a young German soldier who took pity and let her continue. However, the reason for her journey wasn’t usual. She wasn’t trying to get home to her worried mother like she told the soldier. Rather she was escaping. She was a Jew pretending to be a gentile out on the streets of Amsterdam when only Jews were supposed to be outside their homes. But her mission was greater than her own escape. Her mission was to also help others escape. Barbara Lederman, a Jew, would spend the rest of the war in Nazi occupied Holland helping other Jews escape.
Do we have the courage to stay in our places of love? In the face of a Holocaust, could we stay to help others escape? When we’re in a hurry to get home from the grocery store, do we have the patience to help someone in need? When our mission gets hard, do we have the strength to stay in love? I pray that we gain the courage; that we see the time we have to slow down and help a need; that we are strengthened for the fight of love. I pray, because it’s nearly impossible to do it on our own. We need a higher power, a strength that can make the sun stand still (Joshua 10:13); we need a loving God.
The night before His crucifixion, Christ went to the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed. He prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me…” But He stayed in love submitting Himself fully to the mission when He said, “Yet not My will, by Yours be done.” – Luke 22:42 (NIV) Jesus is our ultimate example of love. He lived His life for love. He taught and commanded us to love. And He stayed in His place of greatest love, even when it would take His life. But Jesus isn’t just our greatest example of love, He is our greatest strength in love as well. It is through Him that we are given the ability to go to the hard places in life with love. It’s only with the help of Christ that we can pray at the deathbed of another person and be thankful for the opportunity to share a little of God’s love. Love can be hard, but it is always necessary. My we know the Strength to always be able to share it.
Stay In Love,