As the movie “Frozen” tells us, only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart. In the film, the act is Anna’s willingness to sacrifice her life for the sake of her sister, Elsa. In the Gospel lesson on May 10, we heard Jesus say, “Greater love has no one than this: that you lay down your life for your friends.” And then he did just that.
This love of which Jesus spoke is connected at the heart to the idea of self-sacrifice. Without that it is merely a sentimental feeling.
Oh, I understand the need for self-care, but that becomes narcissism unless there is a willingness to love others as we love our selves. The kind of love to which Jesus calls us—the kind of love that will thaw our lives and get us unfrozen—is self-giving, not self-serving. When was the last time you did something truly sacrificial? When was the last time you did something and expected nothing in return?
It shouldn’t be that hard to remember …
Many years ago I had a woman describe her marriage crisis to me by saying, “I know Sam loves me. He tells me all the time that he would die without me. The trouble is what I hear him say is that he would starve if I didn’t cook for him, or go naked if I didn’t wash his clothes. I don’t need him to die for me; I just need him to take out the trash.”
I wonder if that isn’t what God longs for. Unfreezing acts of true love may be simply doing those things that we don’t feel like doing. The love of Jesus is not a feeling; it is acting despite how we feel.
- Have you ever done something you didn’t want to do and then discovered it was a wonderful experience?
- Did you ever help someone only to discover that you were the one really helped?
- Can you think of something that you didn’t think you could do, until you had to and discovered you could?
Perhaps that is how the Spirit unfreezes us.