Saturday, December 29, 2012

Love One Another

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

I am left speechless by the love and respect first responders have for one another. I expected many emergency vehicles on my trip to Webster today and there were many. Men and women in uniform stood in cold, snowy streets for hours directing traffic near the high school where calling hours were held for the fallen. Others stood in cold, snowy streets with boots in hand collecting donations for the families. Still others stood in long, cold, snowy lines to pay their respects to brothers they had never met but with whom they held a special kinship. This is love.

I find my heart broken today because this is the kind of love Jesus asked of His disciples, the love we often find so impossible to give, and yet here it was on the streets of my hometown and the sidewalks of my old high school. Why is this love so hard to find within the walls of the church and yet so dramatically displayed outside of it? I am humbled, and my heart is challenged to love, to love like these.

Hannah and I drove down to Irondequoit Bay to feed the seagulls. It is something I have enjoyed doing other years, but today it took us past caution tape and the stark lonely chimneys of burned out homes. I felt like an intruder... and I wondered how many regulars have been down to do something as simple as feeding the birds this past week. I think perhaps it will never again be simply feeding the birds. It will be instead a reminder of a lesson in love.

""This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. John 15:12-13


  1. If you have Facebook and can access this page, you will find a local firefighter's story of attending the calling hours this afternoon. He is no stranger to us and I am blessed to have him serve our county.

  2. Thanks so much Martha for sharing this story and your heart. I can feel the emotion all the way to my house. I love you, Martha.

  3. I heard it (the calling hours and the firefighter's and community's outpouring of love) described by one firefighter as "beautifully awful". After reading story upon story and crying, I thought that sounded like a good description. I REALLY wanted to go, just didn't know how I was gonna do that today being that we already had a funeral to go to, and Mom was here. I really didn't want to leave her for the whole day, and I knew if I went to the calling hours I would be gone for a long time. I will pay my respects in other ways though...

    1. That would have been Dan's story, Rachel. It's in the link above.