65 Years Ago – Oct. 2, 1944: The Warsaw Uprising ends, as the Polish Home Army surrenders to the Germans; 200,000 Poles killed.
65 Years Ago – Oct. 1, 1944: Canadian forces open campaign to clear the Scheldt Estuary around port of Antwerp, Belgium. Library of Congress once again displays the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, retrieved from Fort Knox.
It must be fall. My antisocial cat has come out of hiding to absorb my body heat. Janie is a tease of a cat. She rolls onto her back in front of me, baring her fluffy white belly, then darts away when I reach to pet her. But when it gets chilly, she curls up next to me, purrs, and lets me pet her. I think she’s using me.
Our yellow lab, Daisy, has caused hundreds, probably thousands of dollars of damage to house, clothing, and pool equipment. Our three children have given me smart-aleck comments, sleepless nights, barf on the carpet, and several “I hate you’s.”
Why do I put up with it? The answer is obvious, isn’t it? Love. The cat is so irresistably fuzzy. The dog has big brown eyes and goes into a full-body wag whenever I come home. The kids make my chest ache because I love them so much.
1 Peter 4:8 says, “Love covers over a multitude of sins.” So true. Love helps me put up with Janie’s standoffishness, Daisy’s destructiveness, and my kids being kids.
Why don’t I show the same grace to the guy who cuts me off in traffic and makes me miss a light? To the lady at the department store who keeps sending the cashier back to see if they have that blouse in a different size? To the fellow employee who pesters me with stupid questions (yes, there’s such a thing as a stupid question)?
I don’t show them grace because I don’t love them.
Not the warm, fuzzy love reserved for those close to me, but the “love your neighbor as yourself” kind of love. The kind of love that remembers God made that person too and loves them just as much as He loves me. The kind of love that stops to wonder if maybe that person is having a bad day or has troubles I can’t see. The kind of love that remembers I’m human too. I cut people off sometimes. I’ve been known to take too long at the cash register. I ask stupid questions.
That’s the kind of love I want to receive the next time I goof up. The kind of love I want to give the next time someone else goofs up.
Love is more than a feeling. It’s a choice.
70 Years Ago – Sept. 30, 1939: French troops withdraw from German Saar Region. New song enters Top Ten: “Moonlight Serenade.”
65 Years Ago – Sept. 30, 1944: Allies capture last of German cross-Channel guns; residents of heavily bombarded Dover, England celebrate.
70 Years Ago – Sept. 29, 1939: Poland officially surrenders to Germany and the USSR.
65 Years Ago – Sept. 29, 1944: Soviet troops invade German-occupied Yugoslavia with permission from partisan leader Tito.
65 Years Ago – Sept. 28, 1944: Greek resistance groups agree to unite under Allied leadership.
70 Years Ago – Sept. 27, 1939: Warsaw, Poland surrenders to Germany; Polish government-in-exile established in London.
65 Years Ago – Sept. 27, 1944: In the U.S. 8th Air Force, the 445th Bomb Group experiences the highest single loss of any group in the war (25 of 37 B-24 Liberators)on a mission to Kassel, Germany.
65 Years Ago – Sept. 26, 1944: U.S. 20th Bomber Command flies first mission with over 100 B-29 Superfortresses, to Manchuria.
70 Years Ago – Sept. 25, 1939: German Luftwaffe drops incendiary bombs on Warsaw, Poland.
65 Years Ago – Sept. 25, 1944: Allies begin retreat in Operation Market Garden as British troops withdraw from Arnhem, Holland.
This week the brace came off my broken wrist. Eldest son says the scar looks like a lizard. Youngest son calls my arm Skeletor. Daughter says my arm looks like Darth Vader’s head when he takes off his helmet. Can you feel the love?
After five weeks in a cast, then two weeks in a brace, the change in my arm is striking. The skin is pale and flaky, the tendons and ligaments are tight, and the muscles have wasted away. My strength is significantly decreased and my range of motion limited.
Seven weeks without use, and my hand is almost useless.
Atrophy can occur in our spiritual lives as well. Worshipping the Lord brings a healthy glow to our souls. Reading the Bible stretches our thinking and aligns us with God’s will. Serving Him exercises our spiritual gifts, and God gives us strength to do the tasks He gives us.
In just a short time, neglecting worship, the Bible, and service can leave us as pasty, stiff, and weak as my poor little arm.
In the next few months, I’ll be working my arm hard to regain what I’ve lost. And I’ll be keeping my spirit in motion too.
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” 1 Corinthians 9:25-27.
A trophy or atrophy – the choice is yours.