They Will Know Us By Our Love
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
A week ago, a friend’s Facebook post with a caption, “They will know us by our love” caught my attention. It led me to an article titled, “We die a Thousand Ways in Love” by Marshall Segal, a writer and managing editor of the website Desiring God.
In that same week, while heading to a friend’s relative’s wake, another friend Tanya shared about how she believed the importance of learning not to hold grudges.
Oftentimes when we are in the wrong, we seek grace from others. But many a time, we hold double standards without even realizing it. As I read the article by Segal, I reflected on my own extension of grace and kindness to others.
Last weekend, I took my dog Lady-Mae to the ‘dog run’ – a designated enclosed field where dogs can run freely. To me, it’s a dog’s equivalent of our cafes where we can meet with friends and hang out. A pair of dogs entered with their owner and just as they were meeting and greeting, one of the dogs had an altercation with mine.
Since there was no blood shed and Lady Mae continued to interact with the other dogs present, I thought nothing of the incident. Later, as we were leaving the park, we met the same pair of dogs and Lady Mae joyfully and earnestly went to greet the same dog that had an earlier confrontation with her.
Four days later, I noticed that my dog kept licking a certain spot on her body. When I checked it out, I found a bite on her – a deep gash resulted from her earlier encounter.
This recent incident taught me two things:
One, it exemplified how authentic kindness and grace should look like. In witnessing Lady-Mae’s desire to meet her fellow canine friend even though they just had an altercation, I am prompted to reflect on how pro-active I am in expressing kindness and grace to others. I’m certain that Lady-Mae remembered the incident with the other dog but that did not prevent her from making the first move to reach out.
My second lesson was gained from an understanding Lady-Mae’s training grounded her in a way that enabled her to walk away from the incident unaffected. The episode did not alter her temperament nor did it hinder her from interacting with other dogs. Similarly, the more grounded we are on the word of God, the more we learn and practice His Word, the more we grow in maturity especially when extending gestures of kindness to others.
I repent for not being as kind, gracious and loving as I should be. I am humbled that God always gives us many chances on this side of eternity. I am grateful that I am surrounded by friends and family who live out these values and model them to me, challenging me also live them out with authenticity so that they will know us by our Love.
Charissa is a trainer for both humans and dogs, and loves to put her observations and musings down in writing on her blog, The Orange Chalk. Very often, you’ll read about her rescue mutt, Lady-Mae, whom God uses to refine Charissa to serve like a servant and lead like a royal.