“The sun and the wind were having an argument. ‘Nothing is stronger than love.’ said the sun. ‘Nonsensssse’ hissed the wind. ‘I can make anyone do anything I want them to if I blow hard enough.’ ‘Want to bet?’ Winked the sun. “Sure, sure, sure I’ll show you! I’ll show you!’ ‘Alright,’ smiled the sun, ‘see that man down there?’ ‘yesssss…’ hissed the wind, ‘what about him?’ ‘He is wearing a coat, I bet I can persuade him to take it off, but you can’t make him do it.’ ‘oh ho ho,’ roared the wind ‘I’ll show you!’ ‘Very well,’ said the sun, ‘go ahead.'” I looked up from the book and glanced at the children all around me. All eyes and ears were attentive to the story, anxious to hear what the wind would do next. The story continued with the wind trying with all his strength and force to get the man to take off his coat. Finally, when he was all out of breath, he had the sun take over. As the sun smiled warmly down on the man, it did not take very long for him to take off his coat and carry it with him on the rest of his journey. “‘Which is stronger, love or force?’ Asked the sun.” I paused and looked at the children, “LOVE” they all shouted with enthusiasm, their faces glowing with the knowledge that the sun’s love had most definitely won the argument. I smiled as I finished the story, fondly remembering the countless times my mom had read me the exact same book and how I would always give the exact same answer that was currently ringing in my ears.
In the past few months, I have learned a lot from the multiple children who have been placed in my life. Probably the biggest thing I have learned from them is love. I cannot even begin to describe to you that amazing feeling of joy when a child runs straight into you, almost knocking you over, with the most aggressive and powerful hug imaginable, smiling the biggest smile. Or when they search you out specifically to tell you about the amazing lunch they had that day and why it was so special. Or when they sit and talk telling you story after story about their friends, their pets, their siblings and their favorite things to do. This is love. Raw, real, unfiltered love and it’s the kind of love I want to emulate with my Father.
Imagine, if you can feel immeasurable joy from a child running into your arms and telling you all about their day, how much more is our Father’s immeasurable joy for us? This year I feel that God is working on me to believe again. To believe the simple truths of love, trust, grace, and forgiveness and what better teachers than children?
God has formed our hearts for loving. He has created us to love wholly, fully and with the utmost devotion. At what point do we lose the innocence of reckless and boundless love, and take on insecurities, doubts, fears, and worries? Because, when we take on the insecurities of love, we lose our security. When we take on the doubts, we lose our trust. When we take on the fears, we lose our fearlessness. And when we take on the worries, we lose the treasure of comfort.
The force of our inner struggles, unabashedly linked with the desire to love and be loved has thrown our hearts into a whirl wind of longing and confusion. At the same time, the knowledge of the cross and our Savior’s immeasurable love for us, fills us with the hope and security that we can experience what we lack from this world.
The first priority is to strengthen the relationship between oneself and God. To learn to love again with reckless abandonment, not tarnished by our fears and outward struggles. Only when we can say that we are truly at peace in the love and presence of the Most High can we then experience the innocence and purity of agape, God’s love as it was intended.
You formed my heart for loving
And in you I have found
Complete and total comfort
A love that is unbound