My daughter and I were having a conversation recently about relationships.
It’s not the first time we’ve had such a conversation, of course. She’s a young lady who is trying to navigate all the “new” stuff of life as an adult in a world of new relationships. But one thing she brought to my attention is that when someone really cares about you, then you’re important enough to be “inconvenient”.
Now, at first glance, that may sound a little selfish, but for the romantic I am, it made perfect sense. Loving someone and showing that love is often inconvenient. It requires extra time (sometimes, when we don’t feel like we have it). It may include making tough choices usually at our own expense. It is usually a dozen tiny decisions to say “no” to ourselves and “yes” to that person we care about.
I’ve known this concept for a long time, but never considered her wording of it before and it really hit home. We all want someone to care enough about us that we are (at least) a little inconvenient. To “distract” him/her within their daily activities by just a thought, to be worth a schedule readjustment or a surprise date even though they’re busy. Or to have someone take time to listen to us, or watch a movie WE like, even if it’s not their favorite, or go out of the way to bring us a special treat…or however that “caring” may look.
(now, I don’t mean being self-focused and requiring someone to consistently drop everything to be with you- I just mean those moments where you know someone took extra time, extra thought to show they care in tangible ways…especially when it wasn’t an easy choice to make).
Right now, while the world seems all topsy-turvy, and we’re tempted to draw inward and turn insular, the small, simple ways of showing we care for others leave a lasting touch and residual gratitude behind. We’ve had to learn to be extra creative in a Covid-world, but the heart of loving is still here and possible…and maybe even more beautiful in the middle of such times as these.
I know a couple where the woman left her job, home, and friends to be with a man she loved. She started over to begin with him. Her love for him wasn’t easy. It was terribly inconvenient, which made her now-husband, all the more grateful for her love. He responded by finding ways to show his appreciation for her display of love.
Hearts of gratitude and love are contagious.
So, of course, I am reminded of the most beautiful example of Inconvenient Love ever known. Christ, the king, left the splendor and beauty of Heaven where every creature worshipped and served him, to take on the frailty of human flesh. He struggled through childhood bumps and bruises, felt the pangs of hunger and chill of the evening air. He who had been adored was shunned, betrayed, and beaten. The Lord of glory was humiliated, scourged, and killed.
Love in practice became terribly inconvenient for Jesus (understatement of the century).
But, we were worth it to Him.
Think about that just a moment. Let it sink into your weary or lonely heart.
If you are looking for perfect love that outshines ANY romance movie or fairytale book, look no further than the Son of God.
And may the knowledge of his love fill our hearts with gratitude and teach us how to love others…even if it’s inconvenient.