Last week I wrote about my pet rat Honey, the fabulous mother of fourteen. And then this week, after her babies were sent off to the pet store, she suddenly became sick, and died. I knew something was terribly wrong. I called around for advice. Was this post partem depression? I held her and petted her for a long time. All I know is that fourteen was an unusually large litter for a first time mother. She literally gave everything she had, and her body could not take it. And I was left with a lingering sadness for this little rat I had become attached to.
I have not been able to shake her from my mind. And then I recall that it is the Lenten season. A time to remember how much love cost God in the life of His Son for us. I hear the words of the hymn “My song is love unknown, a Savior’s love for me, love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be.”
Have you ever seen a birch tree standing solitary in a forest of dark trees? It stands out in stark contrast to everything around it. In a similar way, the love of Jesus stands out in the forest of time. It is pure and white, and also lonely. It is single-hearted in its intent. It is both sad and beautiful at the same time.
Like a mother’s love, the love of Jesus is relentless in its giving, even willing to give all for the ones it loves. This is the fierce love that pursues us, and deserves our attention. I mean no disrespect when I say that watching Honey, in her total giving of herself, has shown me a new way of understanding the sacrifice of Jesus.