Valentine’s Day is when lots of love messages are exchanged.
The article said, “New York woman had husband’s heart. Then she got his liver.” A nine-hour surgery removed her diseased liver, then took 60 percent of his healthy one and transplanted it in her. Teddy made a huge sacrifice for his wife Elena. Actually, he made sacrifices before the surgery, so that the doctors would consider him as a donor. He quit smoking cigarettes, his habit for 35 years. He stopped drinking homemade brew. In Croatian accented English he said, “I think I did best I can because I love her. I would not go through this pain for fun. But what else could I do? I could not just lose her.”
Elena understood what her husband did for her. She said, “He could have just thrown in the towel anytime — a lot of men would. I know enough to know I don’t want to live with a man who’s going to have regrets afterward. But it was his idea. He wanted to do it.”
After the surgery, Teddy had a slight fever so he was not allowed to see Elena until his temperature dropped. When he finally was allowed in her room, he wept when he saw her. He was overcome with emotion and couldn’t speak for a few minutes. The article described the scene, “He gripped her delicate hands in his thick ones and kissed them, and stroked her face. ‘It’s been three whole days,’ he said when he finally found his voice. ‘So much has happened. I have so much to tell you.’”
This is an example of loving similar to Christ loving the church, and giving himself for it. Three days he was in the tomb. When he came forth in the resurrection, he told his disciples many things. He emphatically spoke of receiving the power of his Spirit so that he could be with them at all times.
A song titled “Written in Red” by Gordon Jennsen tells of Jesus on the cross. His blood was a message of love “written in red.” John Phipps may not have known about the song when he got on a Los Angeles commuter train in January 2005. When the train derailed after striking an SUV, he was pinned in the wreckage. He touched his head and his hand came away bloody. A bloody handprint on a seat gave him an idea. He scrawled a message of love to his kids and his wife, Leslie using his own blood. He wrote, “I (heart symbol) my kids; I (heart symbol) Leslie.” He thought it was going to be his last message to them. John survived to give his love again.
Thankfully, the message of love Jesus demonstrated on the cross didn’t stop there. Jesus was resurrected! This is a story of life-giving salvation, the purpose of his everlasting love.
We can enjoy that reality all year, not just one day a year.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m.