Dear friends in Christ,
Last week, while I was out walking our dog, I noticed some kids drawing on the sidewalk. Now, kids having some fun with chalk art isn’t all that unusual. But this art was both beautiful and heart-wrenching.
I was walking past the county jail, and the kids were drawing a message for their father, who could apparently see this bit of sidewalk from his cell. It had his name and their names, and a message of love. Beautiful, right? Kids professing love for their father. And certainly heart-wrenching.
All I know is that some kids love their father. I don’t know if he was to be in the jail for a day, or for a week, or for a year. I don’t know what circumstances led him to end up in the jail. What I do know is that the father and his children are all precious people, made in God’s image and worthy of love. Everyone, without exception, is worthy of God’s love and worthy of the love of others.
For the last few days, I’ve thought about this sign of love. On the one hand, it was utterly simple. Children’s art. On the other hand, it was as beautiful as any art ever made in human history, because it was created in love, with a message of love for one person. And yet it touched me and perhaps many others who walked by that patch of sidewalk.
It got me thinking. What if our world was filled with many more signs of love? What would it be like if we expressed our love of God and our love of neighbor in tangible and visible ways more often?
Maybe we follow the lead of those children and write on our sidewalks. We could offer words of encouragement and grace to those who need to hear a word of hope. We could send a letter or a kind email. We could mail a gift.
In short, we could change our world one story at a time. If our world is defined by the news, it will seem hopeless—filled with violence, fear, and degradation. It’s true that violence, hatred, and fear are present in our world. But it’s also true that, in the end, God’s love wins. The empty tomb is a promise of the victory of love over sin, fear, violence, and death. Every sign of love is a sign of hope, a reminder that God has the last word.
Let’s make some signs of love, shall we?
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Come & See: Reflections on the Life of Jesus
Each day since 1935, Forward Day by Day has offered daily devotions rooted in the Word of God and love of Jesus. Now, for the first time, some of the best meditations from the past three decades are collected into one volume and arranged chronologically, from Jesus’ birth to resurrection. Although the devotions were written in different contexts by a variety of authors, this collection offers a rich tapestry of reflections, some poignant, others pointed, but all committed to a way of love.
Come & See is curated by Sanford Smith, a pastor from Omaha, Nebraska, who began reading and collecting his favorite Forward Day by Day meditations in 1985. Today, at age ninety-five, he still volunteers four days a week as a hospital chaplain but every morning, he puts first things first and opens Forward Day by Day to read and pray.
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