Recently, when my dad was hospitalized for a quadruple bypass surgery and recovery, I found myself looking for bigger and better ways to express my love. Afterall, he would do (and had) the same for me.
I visited the hospital as often as I could, called every day, brought gifts, thought of ways to spend time with my dad, made food, but still I had more love than I could express.

But there are others, certain neighbors or coworkers or friends or even family members, that aren’t so easy to love, and without even trying very hard, I run out of love before I run out of ways to express it. Loving back is not simple, but loving first– can feel nearly impossible.

Thinking about love this way sends me directly to Jesus. I can only understand the various shades of love when they are painted onto my heart by Him. Like my dad, Jesus loved me first. He demonstrated his love for me, and calls me to love him back. In response to his love.

But also in response to his love, he also calls me, and equips me, to love others first. To remember how far his love had to reach to grab hold of the unlovable me. And to find the courage to love others this way.

I have a long, long way to go.

For more about the Father’s love, visit read Part 1.