How do I know there is a God? Today I was given another reason to be sure.
I was at McDonald’s. Just wanted a snack and a moment to sit down. Shortly after I sat down, in walked an elderly man and his wife. That is, the man walked in. He wheeled his wife, who was lying on some sort of wheelchair/bed device, to a table. This was no powered chair, and the man, who was short, could barely see over the top.
The whole time, he talked to her. He stroked her hair and doted on her, wiped her chin and held her hand. I never saw her move, not even her eyes. Except for one moment when he put some ice cream in her mouth—she may have reacted to that for a second. But he never rushed her. Never looked bored or distracted. He was just there with and for her.
This was love. Such love doesn't just happen at the whim of an unfeeling universe. There is no logic to it, no profit or personal benefit. Just continuous service and sacrifice. It’s the opposite of successful behavior for survival.
How do I know there is a God? Because there is no way such love can exist without him.
I'm not really sure why this couple produced such a strong reaction in me. Perhaps because I live in a world where our heroes are men and women reaping their own rewards and honor, and we celebrate celebrity for celebrity’s sake. Or perhaps because we are taught that love is an abstract quality—that emotions like love and hate are not part of the physical world; they are just concepts.
But that’s wrong.
We are also taught that humans are driven by survival instincts. That we are motivated by the need to succeed and survive.
But that’s wrong too.
How are we, as Christians or even just as humans, supposed to react to such a momentary glimpse into others’ lives? I’m not entirely sure. But it does call for some sort of reaction. And if the reaction is to be reminded of the nature of love, that's not a bad thing. But what about love was I reminded of? These three things come to mind.
1. God does not tire of me in my broken state. In my helplessness, God’s grace is sufficient.
2. Love is tangible. It was right there making itself known in the quiet of the scene I witnessed at McDonald’s.
3. God is real. Such love comes from God.
I don't know if I can love like the man at McDonald’s loves his wife. Such sacrifice and selflessness are goals to reach for. But I am grateful, now and forever, that God can and does love us like that.
I went in for a burger, but it was my soul that was fed.
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Don’t miss this week’s must-read articles:
- Tell A Better Story
- ‘Rebirth’ for a Wisconsin Church
- Book review: A Church Called Tov, by Laura Barringer and Scot McKnight