It’s never easy saying goodbye.
Especially if hello just happened.
Chris and Melody have been apart for three weeks. He hasn’t seen his newborn for quite some time.
Babies grow a lot in three weeks.
When Melody had emergency gall bladder surgery, Chris had already started working in Washington D.C. teaching middle and high school. He’d moved there from Atlanta, found a place for his family to live, and was preparing for his family’s arrival. With news of Mel’s medical problems, he made plans to fly to Florida early.
He missed his flight.
Both were hurting because of it. He got to Orlando Friday afternoon.
For 48 hours of family time that was a joy to watch.
Watching Chris lavish love on his baby girl, grinning as he held her, talking to her about matters of importance (Did she know how much he loved her?) was a joy. Watching the three of them together, laughing, Sloane grinning for reasons known only to her digestive system, was great fun.
Two days after arriving, Chris had to leave. Driving to D.C. alone instead of with his family, as he’d expected.
Melody has to stay here for two more weeks. Healing from gall bladder surgery is a little more time consuming–and painful–than she’d anticipated. Having just had a caesarean section two months ago, this just hurt.
She can’t even pick up the baby at this point. Not for another week or so.
But 48 hours of family bliss was worth the effort and cost to Chris of flying down and driving back. Alone.
Chris has invested in his family. As the husband and father, there was nothing he wouldn’t do to be with those he loves. Family is worth it. I got to see that in action.
When Melody and Sloane get home, he will have missed over half of her young life. Not something he’d planned or wanted. It happened. Having missed so much, it made those two days sweeter because he had to make it count.
Loving others isn’t about convenience. It’s not always reciprocated. It’s rarely an equal give and take. Loving someone means caring more about the other person than yourself. A sacrifice of self to meet the needs of another. A surrendering of expectations and desires for the sake of the one loved.
It’s the kind of love Jesus has for us. Not thinking of Himself and the glory He left behind to come show God to a world that didn’t want to hear about Him. Choosing to die in our place, even though many mocked and reviled Him. Still do.
I don’t pretend to understand perfect, unconditional love. I don’t love that way. I want to, but I always end up being involved in the equation. Which thoroughly skews the calculation.
God’s love for me is pure and unselfish. Wanting the best for me. Paying the price so I can be reconciled to Him. His gift of love.
Watching Chris delight in his daughter reminded me of how much joy God has in me. I don’t get it. I’m grateful He does.
Being thoroughly enjoyed and loved? Even with all my gnarly places?
Jesus had me at hello.
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