Love and Largesse
I am a “word nerd.” Yes, I like words. I like that they can stimulate mental imagery, help define who we are, express a thought. I like that sometimes, they can be so odd or foreign, that a dictionary definition is needed to be able to understand how the word was used! I like that some words are just meant to go together, like “love,” and “largesse.”
The ancient Greeks developed a variety of terms to define several types of love. These four are most common:
-Eros is intense love that arouses romantic feelings.
-Storge explains family and friendship love, like that which is shared between
parents and children.
-Agape is a sacrificial love which expects nothing in return.
-Philia, a tender, affectionate, platonic, “brotherly” love.
It is agape love that God the Father has toward mankind. When you think about this unconditional, sacrificial love, it seems only natural to associate it with “largesse,” which means the generous bestowal of gifts. 1 John 4:9 states, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” Jesus Christ did it all. What a gift!
I believe God’s children experience His love and largesse often in daily life. One personal example was this past Fall, when our twin grand-daughters began attending the high school, just a block from our home. I had prayed that they would be able to come over for lunch sometimes. The answer was greater than I had hoped for! One of the girls comes for lunch every school day, and the other comes once or twice each week. What a sweet time we share, even though it is less than thirty minutes each time. God knew my heart’s desire to spend quality time with these grandchildren, and He richly filled that need: the opportunity to invest in their young lives. As a result of this, I have become more organized in time management.
Too often, as Christians, we only think of God as One Who handles the “big” issues of our life. (Recovering from a serious accident, or dealing with the trauma of a serious injury.) He can- and does- intervene in such issues, but what really encourages me is that He is a God Who cares and involves Himself in the details of our lives. Little things like this give us a sense of being loved, even though we do not deserve His attention in such matters.
Challenge: Can you think of at least one time (many times?) when God’s love and care far exceeded your expectations? Do we always remember to express thankfulness for these gifts? Can we even begin to comprehend the enormity of God’s love? While we mortals are incapable of demonstrating the depth of love and largesse God shows us, we can practice love and experience its rewards.
I am reminded of an article I read about a pastor who couldn’t forgive the driver of the car that crashed into their car, causing the death of his wife. The pastor desperately wanted to hear “I’m sorry,” from the driver, who seemed to feel no responsibility for the accident. Years passed until the pastor was convicted in his spirit that, in order to have the right relationship with the Lord, he simply had to forgive this man. It was, after all, an accident, the driver having fallen asleep at the wheel. It was time to be free from the turmoil and bitterness. So, in a loving response, the pastor forgave the man, and experienced the peace that had been so elusive. A burden was lifted, and then the pastor felt a desire to encourage and befriend this man. At this point, the pastor and the driver each received an intangible gift: one embraced the gift of forgiveness, and the other experienced peace. “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” (Prov. 11:25)
These are gifts money cannot buy. How much greater are the gifts of a gracious God: love and largesse in sync.