READ : 1 Corinthians 13:8-13
The greatest of these . . . (v. 13)
“What a shame,” the stranger commented to her friend as she walked by shaking her head. “Yes, isn’t it a pity,” came the reply. Tillie is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s. She wanders aimlessly through the halls, can hardly speak and needs constant daily care. Yet in this pre-verbal, infantile world, one innate element wildly (and silently) screams out for recognition: the need to love and be loved.
For Tillie this hunger is often manifest when her restless heart searches: walking . . . walking the halls for “something” . . . only to be stilled when a doll is gently placed in her arms. For the moment, Tillie’s maternal heart is pacified. “Baby” is held and rocked. More importantly, Tillie is filled with love.
Does it matter that she’s unable to distinguish reality from a toy? How quick we are to judge and pity this “poor woman.” Don’t pity Tillie! Pity instead those of us who have our health and our minds, but are devoid of the greatest of divine attributes: unconditional love. Corinthians tells us that all things will pass away . . . all things but faith, hope, and love, the greatest of which is unashamedly human, yet unmistakably divine. Perhaps in God’s eyes Tillie rises above us all with the one element that most incarnates Christ himself: the gift of Love.
Your kingdom is upside-down! Grow us up to love like a child.