April 16, A Remembrance – No Greater Love

I don’t normally read from the King James.  I read from the NRSV normally because it’s the standard pew Bible edition for most United Methodist Churches.  I also like the TNIV, even though they are no longer making it, the NIV, the Message, and most all of them.  I always tell folks read the Bible that speaks to them.

But, when I quote scripture off the top of my head, I quote the King James.  Why?  Because it’s what I grew up reading and hearing, and it’s what scripture still “sounds” like to me.  Especially the Psalms, or John 14 (in Father’s house were many mansions).

And the passage I’m thinking about this morning. When I think of John 15: 13, I always hear it in the KJV

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

I always think of that verse on April 16.

See it was on April 16, 1978 that no great love was shown to me.

On April 16, 1978, my mother was murdered.  She was killed as she was walking out of our house, with me in her arms. She was walking out of the house because she did not want me raised in an abusive situation, in a situation full of drugs and destruction. She was walking out of the house because she wanted me to have a better life.

She was walking out of the house because she loved me.

And in that, she laid down her life for me.  Literally.  I sometimes tell folks I have the burden and blessing in my life of having had two people lay down their life for me, Jesus and Mama Sarah.

And, every day I wake up and know that I am here, I give thanks for no greater love.

And every time I look at my daughter Sarah and mourn over the fact that she will never know the grandmother she was named for, I give thanks for no greater love.

Every time I look at my grandparent that adopted me, even though they had raised their kids already, and had other plans for life, I give thanks for no greater love.

And every time I get the chance to teach my children about what love looks like, I give thanks for no greater love.

Today is a bittersweet day.  I have no doubt that I am and have been loved.  I just wish the price weren’t so high.

But, greater love hath no man (or woman, mother, or father) than this, that they lay down their life for their friends.

I give thanks for no greater love.

6 thoughts on “April 16, A Remembrance – No Greater Love

  1. Andy, I thought about saying that Mama Sarah would be proud of you, but I decided to strike that and say instead, “She IS proud of you.” May God bless you and keep you today. May He help you to continually find joy on such a bittersweet anniversary.

  2. Andy,
    For the gift of life and love this day, I give thanks. For the gift of YOU whom God continues to bless, I am deeply grateful.

    What a powerful word for me today!

    Deep peace, my friend.
    Bill Mc

  3. Thank you for sharing this, the way you have taken a tragedy in your life and used it to help others amazes me. Thank you for reminding me of the love that our Father has for us and the love that us as parents have for our kids.

  4. Andy, I never told you this but I too remember the day and the time because you see I had to go by your house on that fateful morning and I saw your Mama right after she was killed. It was a horrible scene. I later found out that you were in her arms. they wouldn’t let me near since I wasn’t “family”. They did tell me that you were safe because of her. She was a friend and a wonderful person. You were and are truly blessed. Take care and know that you are loved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s