“Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” The author of 1 John invites us to put our love into action—to love with our lives. Love is a commandment: “love one another, just as [Jesus] has commanded us.” If we follow this commandment to love, then we are in communion with God: “All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.”
Several years ago, a neighbor of mine gave me a birdhouse. It was the perfect size and structure for bluebirds to build their nests inside. I put it on a wood post in the yard, which turned out to be a bad idea. Neighborhood cats dug their claws into the wood and climbed up to kill the newborn chicks. The nest became a grave.
Last summer, Charles Moore, a retired Methodist minister, nearly 80 years old, parked in a strip mall in his hometown of Grand Saline, Texas, pulled out a gas can from his trunk, drenched his clothes with gasoline, knelt down, and lit a match. He died in flames.
Once, in a class I taught in a prison, the men talked about which officers would and wouldn’t shake their hands. I could imagine them saying the words of Jesus, “Touch me and see.” Discover that I am human like you.