We spent a month in California last summer celebrating the wedding of a granddaughter. When we returned, my wife had trouble at the grocery store checkout counter, trying to pay for her groceries. When her credit card was declined, she realized she had made a mistake and punched in the PIN code for her US credit card. Then she couldn’t remember what the PIN was for her Canadian card. When she punched it in, it was wrong, and the card was declined again.
On the third try, it was wrong again and she was locked out. Jo was seriously embarrassed. She asked the cashier how she could leave her purchases on hold at customer service, where I could come and pay with my card.
Suddenly the customer behind her in the checkout counter interrupted. “Here,” he said to the cashier, “just take my card and pay for her groceries.” Jo tried to refuse, saying, “I have the $75, I just forgot my PIN.” But her benefactor insisted, so Jo’s groceries were paid.
She thanked him sincerely and asked, “What is your name?” He told her, and she said, “Oh, I have a grandson with the same name. I pray for him every morning. So, when I do, I will pray for you too.” She then asked him what she should pray for and he told her about his two young children whom he wanted to grow up to be good kids. Since that day, when Jo and I pray together for our family, we always include this man and his family.
This generous man showed love for Jo, not a romantic, Valentine style, reciprocal love, but a one-way, no return expected, unselfish love. God is love, (1 John 4:8) God is the source of all selfless love. So, this generous man was showing the love of God. God’s love is always shown when people reach out and meet the needs of others in an unselfish, generous way.
Jesus exemplified His own teaching, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:37-39). Jesus walked about as the living interface between His Father God and humanity. He loved people and gave of Himself to meet their needs.
Today people who love God and love others are the living interfaces between God and people. When God’s Holy Spirit living within us, moves us to show our love for people by giving of ourselves to meet their needs, we are demonstrating the love of God.
This Valentine’s day would be an excellent time to renew our commitment to show God’s love for people by reaching out to meet the needs of those around us.