“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Jesus sets the bar high in his description of love. He tells his disciples that self-sacrifice is the ideal, giving them an example in his own person by giving his life for them on the cross. He modeled what he taught, thereby giving us an eternal picture of perfect love. This means that any love we show ultimately reflects his perfection. Our loving acts are echoes of the author’s Word. Because of this truth, you can find traces of Jesus wherever you see examples of love. This past weekend, I saw a beautiful picture of love in an unlikely place.
I went to see a heavy metal show with my friend Micah on Friday. While I enjoyed myself, I saw clearly that the metal scene is not my natural environment. Amid the low lighting walked men and women dressed in all black. Tattoos and piercings were the norm, as were skinny jeans and long hair. There was plenty of drinking and smoking, stumbling persons and clouds of vapor dotting the small sea of heads and arms. I’m pretty sure I stood out among them, clearly foreign to that world. I was not the only one who looked out of place, though.
My favorite part of the night was seeing the parents that brought their kids to the show. I noticed a dad walking around with his daughter, and he seemed to be a fan of the bands. What really caught my attention, however, were two moms who appeared to be completely out of their element. While most of the crowd wore band t-shirts, these moms wore brighter colors and fanny packs. While most eyes were set on the stage, their eyes were scanning the crowd for their kids. As the headliner played their first few songs, one mom’s expression turned from mild excitement to a look of confusion (or maybe terror. I’m not sure). Even through the fear and strangeness they may have felt, I saw joy on their faces as they watched their kids enjoy the show. These moms sacrificed their evenings (and their ears) for their kids.
Maybe this is an example of how we lay our lives down for each other. While Jesus did give his life for his friends, his self-sacrifice began long before the cross. He walked daily in service to others, giving of his time and energy when he could have rested and retired. He served when serving was uncomfortable; these moms did the same. This week, I pray I would love as Jesus loved, showing the work of the Spirit by my service for others. I pray I would remember the example of the moms and dads who chose to enter a strange environment for the joy of their children. In all things, I pray God would be glorified.