Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord your God...Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.

I'm hurting.  There's no other way to say it.  As my daughters have aged from the innocent play of toddlers to the tumult of complicated middle school and high school relationships, I aged with them.  One day my girls hosted play dates and tea parties; it seems the next they wrestled the girl drama monster.  When they struggle with loneliness or feel persecuted for their faith, I carry their pain.  It ages me and I hurt.

This morning I read Mark 12.  In this passage, Jesus summarizes Christian truth.  Love God.  Love others.  It sounds simple but it is a God-sized charge.

When some girl leaves my daughter out, I want to exclude her from my love in direct proportion.

When my daughter gets "unfriended", every cell in my body wants to demonstrate just how unfriendly I can be.

Then I remember this beautiful admonition to become a people lover.  Do I cry less tears for my kids because I choose to love?  No, but I make the decision to allow my tears to flood others with kindness and compassion.   Do I feel less angry over the hurt of one of my precious daughters?  No, but I use my passion to love unrestrained.

A few moments ago one of my daughters went to bed with tears streaming down her face.  I can't alter the hurt she feels, but I can channel it to greater love for Jesus and those He loves.  I can show her how to love the unlovely.

Jesus, You love every girl - the one who excludes and the one excluded.  You cherish the faithful and unfaithful.  Whatever side of that equation I or one of my sweet kids falls on, may I ultimately fall on Your side.  Your side is the one that loves others with grace, forgiveness and compassion.

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