Doug Johnson: Love should be eternal, caring and no strings attached

Published 5:35 am Monday, September 5, 2022

When the conflict between the states broke out, a young man who was engaged to a beautiful New England girl was one of the first to be called into service. Their marriage, therefore, had to be postponed.
He managed to get through most of the conflict uninjured, but finally in the Battle of the Wilderness, he was severely wounded.
The young lady of his heart, not knowing of his condition, was counting the days until he returned. She waited for word from him, but no more letters came.
At last she received one addressed in a strange handwriting which read: “There has been another terrible battle. It is very difficult for me to tell you this, but I have lost both my arms!
I cannot write myself, but a comrade is penning this for me. While you are as dear to me as ever, I shall now be dependent on other people for the rest of my days and I feel I should therefore release you from the obligation of our engagement.”
This letter was never answered.
Taking the next train, the young woman went directly to the scene of the late conflict and sent word to the captain concerning the purpose of her errand.
The man was sympathetic and gave her directions where she might find the soldier’s cot.
Tearfully, she went along the lines of the wounded looking for her love.
The moment her eyes fell upon him, she threw her arms around the young man’s neck and kissed him.
“I will never give you up!” she cried. “These hands of mine will help you; I am able to support you, I will take care of you!”
This story is a perfect illustration of what true love is.
Love is not just a funny feeling in your stomach; it’s a gift that you give to someone special in your life.
The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, “Love is patient and kind, love is not jealous, love does not push itself on anyone and isn’t proud, love doesn’t behave unseemly and isn’t selfish, love is not easily angered and thinks no evil; Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
No matter what happens, true love will be there hoping for the best and holding on until the end.
In other words, love conquers all!
A good example of love in action is the Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas.
The inpatient psychiatric work of the Menninger Clinic is organized around love.
From the top psychiatrist down to the electricians and caregivers, all contacts with patients must manifest love.
And it was “love unlimited.”
The result was that hospitalization time was cut in half.
There was once a woman who for three years sat in her rocking chair and never said a word to anyone.
The doctor called a nurse and said, “Mary, I’m giving you Mrs. Brown as your patient.
All I’m asking you to do is to love her till she gets well.”
The nurse tried it. She got a rocking chair of the same kind as Mrs. Brown’s, sat alongside her, and loved her morning, noon and night.
On the third day, the patient spoke, and in a week, she was out of her shell — and well!
That’s the power of love.
The greatest definition of love is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
We can give without loving but we cannot love without giving.
Let us not forget that true love is always given unconditionally and free… no strings attached!

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.

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