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greater love

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

I've been thinking about this verse a lot lately (at the oddest times, like driving, unloading laundry, just out of the blue).

In it, Jesus is obviously talking about himself and his plans to give his life for others. I think the most important thing I or anyone can do is to strive to live as Christ-like as possible, yet I know I'm not in a position of being willing to give up my life for my 'friends,' in terms of anyone. Of course for my husband or my children, it's not even a question of whether I'd give my life for them, but for everyone else? That's a tough pill to swallow. 

But maybe I am at a good enough place that I can change it a little. Since we began foster parenting especially, there are things both David and I have had to "lay down" for a friend. Even a ten-year-old friend. So maybe - 

Greater love hath no woman than this, that a woman lay down what she's doing twice a day and drive a friend to and from school, so he doesn't have to face the inevitable bullies and unpleasantness of a school bus, when everything else is in his life is already scary and unknown.

Greater love hath no woman than this, that a woman lay down her desire to sleep through the night, and set alarms every 2-3 hours to check her friend's blood glucose and keep him safe from hypoglycemia in his sleep.

Greater love hath no woman than this, that a woman lay down her serious anxiety about phone conversations and spend countless hours speaking to case managers, therapists, school nurses, and doctor's offices, to ensure her friend gets the appropriate care he deserves.

I don't pretend to be even close to being like Christ in most ways. But this experience of foster parenting is helping me get there and helping me see ways I can stretch and change and become a better person, that I couldn't see before.

I had a dream the other day, one of those dreams that happen when you are almost waking up so that when you do wake, you remember the details vividly. In the dream, I was talking on a newly asphalted black road. The asphalt was extremely thick, and it was hot and humid and the black road only made it hotter. I wanted to go someplace else, but on both sides of the road there was nothing but weedy fields as far as I could see. Then a voice said to me, "I am not going to give you a new path. I am making this path wider." Then I turned around saw that, behind me, the road had been a lot narrower, and the part I was now walking on was a lot wider.

I don't know what this means. I don't usually have dreams where I hear voices like that.


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