Thursday, August 16, 2012
Equal Not Same
A few weeks ago we were browsing on Netflix for a movie to watch. We came across one movie called "Two Weeks" about four adult children saying goodbye to their dying mother and also dealing with things between each other. We watched the movie preview, but didn't end up watching that movie. But there was a line from the movie preview that caught my attention and has not left my mind since.
The dying mother character in the movie was making a video for her kids. I haven't seen the movie, but it appears that all four of her kids are very different from each other, and obviously do not get along with each other. The mom says, "I love you all equally, but I don't love you all the same."
I love you equally but not the same. I find this a fascinating and freeing thought. That the amount of love you have for someone does not necessarily dictate how that love is shown. Especially when there are multiple people being included - for example in this movie - a woman has four children and loves them all but shows that love uniquely to each child depending on who they are and the relationship they have built. Or I also think of three young ladies I know who have a best friend triangle between them. They each love the others so much. But I am sure if I asked them, they do not probably love each of the other two the same. They get along as a threesome wonderfully, but I would bet the three separate one-on-one relationships that make up the friendship are all unique to the others.
There is no cookie-cutter way to love your friends, your family, your neighbors. I do not even think God shows His love to each of us the same - equally yes, but perhaps not the same. In the big grand narrative He ultimately showed His love for us by sending Jesus, who died in our place on the cross and rose again to conquer sin so that we could have right relationship with God - this is for all of us. But God made each of us and knows us inside and out. He walks with us each day and I am sure shows His love for you and me in ways that we can understand, in ways that meet us where we are.
I think this takes out the "should" in loving others. I should do this for so-and-so because I did it for that person. I should make sure that my siblings, or my friends, or my children get the exact same measure of my love. Instead, it becomes a matter of being present in each relationship and uniquely loving each one in ways that will speak to them and touch their hearts. One friend may need a crazy fun night out once a month, and another a weekly chat over coffee. But in all of this, we continue to love each other more and more.