How Fickle Is My Love
Once upon a long time ago I was invited to go to a youth social where my (then) boyfriend would be. Of course I said yes and arrived at my neighbour’s house in time to be driven the five or six miles to the church.
I had never been to a church social before and wasn’t quite sure what to expect but happily went into my neighbours kitchen to pick up the sandwiches as she instructed before we left. The kitchen was dark and so I innocently turned on the light to see the plate on the counter move! The plate was completely covered with roaches!
I was not used to this at all and being only 16 wasn’t sure what to do or say. I turned off the light and backed into the living room. Quietly I said that I had seen a roach on the plate and asked what to do. My neighbour smiled and said not to worry just brush it off and bring the sandwiches. Oh no!!
So back I went, turned on the light, banged on the counter a bit and retrieved the plate after the last roach was gone. My heart was pounding – I am terrified of roaches – and my skin felt as if it was struggling to crawl off my body and back home in an attempt to get away. But despite the strength of my feelings all my mother’s hard work finally paid off as I sat politely still and composed and dutifully held the plate on the journey to church.
Once there I did the only thing a shy visitor could. I whispered to everyone I knew (mainly other young people) that they should not eat the corned beef sandwiches. All of them took note as I recounted the roach tale and the sandwiches sat there untouched. Last of all I approached my boyfriend who was stood talking to a group of boys. Too shy to tell the whole story to such a large and boisterous crowd I simply whispered to him “Whatever you do don’t eat the corned beef sandwiches”.
Mission accomplished I returned to the main group and passed a pleasant evening until with shock and horror I saw my boyfriend with a corn beef sandwich in his mouth. I was stunned into silence until he took me home and hopefully asked for a good night kiss. I paused, picturing the corned beef sandwich touching his lips, and the roaches that had been happily consuming them before. Then I sweetly said “No way am I kissing lips that eat roach sandwiches!” and so ended the night and many more thereafter.
And that was how I learned that love does not conquer all. Sweet nothings are sweet, but in the hard light of day when things are difficult and practical demonstrations of care are needed they can still turn out to be nothing. We are only human after all.
How reassuring then to find that God’s love is not human but divine, unchanging and reliable. When God says that He cares we see it in the details of our daily life as well as in His grand interventions on our behalf, there is nothing shallow or superficial in Him at all.
“The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!”
Psalm 103:13- 18 (NLT)