Try to experience the joy of love’s extravagance

How extravagant are you? When we think of extravagance, most of us think of lobster, diamonds and Ferraris. But we can be extravagant in more than our spending habits. We can also be extravagant in how we care, how we engage and how we love.

Rev. Mark Trotter once told a story about his encounter at the Nashville airport with a silent man and a talkative woman. Trotter had flown in for a meeting, and after claiming his bag he made his way to the curb to wait for his hotel’s shuttle. Although most of those in line for the shuttles appeared to be business travelers who stood impatiently, there was a man and a woman at the far end of the line who didn’t quite fit the mold. They were sitting on their luggage, and though the man was silent, the woman could not stop talking. And so Trotter edged his way down the shuttle line in an attempt to get away from her endless barrage of comments and questions.

Just then a hotel shuttle drove up and everyone hopped on, everyone, that is, except the silent man, the talkative woman and Trotter. And so a conversation began that went something like this: “What hotel you goin’ to?” the woman shouted to Trotter. When he responded she said, “We’re goin’ to that hotel, too.” For the rest of their wait and all of the shuttle ride she talked, and talked and talked. When she learned from Trotter that he was a minister, she said, “Preacher, I want you to meet my friend. He don’t say nothing, ’cause cancer got his voice box. I love this man. I love this man more than anything else in the world. The doctor said he doesn’t have but three months to live. You’re a preacher. I want you to pray for him. Maybe it will do some good. Meanwhile,” the women went on, “we’ve come down here to Nashville to go to the Grand Ole Opry. I’ve got tickets for tomorrow night. He has always wanted to go to the Opry. Then the day after that I have rented a car. We’re going to drive over to Memphis. We’re going to Graceland to see where the King is buried. He always wanted to see that. Then we’re goin’ home. Oh, we’re goin’ to have a great time, aren’t we? Just me and the love of my life, goin’ to the Opry and then to see the King. You be sure and pray for him, won’t you?”

What a privilege it is to witness at times the lengths to which love will go. There was nothing that women would not have done for that man. Extravagant? Yes. But how sad it would be if at least once or twice in our lives love didn’t motivate us to throw caution to the wind and do something extravagant. How sad never to love so deeply that you were willing to give everything, even your very life, for the sake of that love.

How extravagant are you – and for what and for whom? May we all know the utter joy of love’s extravagance some time in our lives.

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