We’d been up to the mountains, climbing around big rocks, crossing a waterfall. Scrabbling, scrambling, scaling the heights. We drove through the seasons. We began in the sun, graduated to rain, and the higher we got, the lower the temperature dropped. And then the hail.
Everyone loved it.
But at the end of the day, we were all tired. We were sitting on the porch, talking and drinking decaf coffee. Decompressing.
“I need my nails painted,” Isley said. She waved her fingers at us, showing where she’d picked off the polish.
Courtney, my Denver daughter, kindly accommodated her niece. She carefully painted each small fingernail different colors, just as Isley had told her. So pleased with her hands, Isley stuck her feet in front of Courtney, smiling. Court picked up another bottle of color.
Isley wiggled her toes. Waiting for them to dry, she stared at the three men sitting around her, barefoot, hairy toes exposed in all their polishlessness.
Isley carefully painted each man’s toes. She had to have used a half bottle of color on each guy, with color dripping down to the first knuckle. Nothing pale, mind you. Bright, bold colors that you could see a football field away.
Big, hairy, colorful manly toes.
And they left the polish on. A whole day.
Isley was delighted with her handiwork. She showed friends what she had done to her three gracious male guinea pigs.
Did they receive some ribbing for this? Of course. Would they leave it on till it wore off? Not so much.
But they were willing to sacrifice a little dignity for the love of a little girl.
They did this for Isley because she delights them. She makes them smile. They cared more about her than about what it might look like for a man to wear nail polish.
That’s what love does. It thinks about the other person first. It gives, not expecting to receive in return, but because the person loved is that worthwhile.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13:4-8a
This is God’s love for each of us. A beautiful, everlasting love that isn’t based on what we do or what we’ve done but on who He is, what He has done. He delights in us, enjoys us.
Unbelievable, isn’t it? Hard to imagine?
Our love tends to be conditional, based more on how we are being loved. And it fails. Every time.
God delights in us, enjoys us as His own. He went the extra mile, allowing His Son to die in our place. A sacrifice of love.
Rather like doing something for a beloved child for the sheer joy of making them happy.