Unconditional love

The Doctor's Life Support for 16 July

‘… you are precious and honoured in my sight, and … I love you …’

Isaiah 43: 4

Belgian law states that, unless officially opposed, a dead person’s organs can automatically be taken and used for grafts. As this was announced, my father turned off the radio and a discussion started. Ingrid, aged six, asked her grandmother, ‘Would you like people to take bits of your body when you die and give them to other people?’ Grandma replied, ‘You know, dear, dead people feel nothing, so if someone else can be helped to survive, why not? But there isn’t much left in me that will be worth giving.’ The little girl’s eyes flashed as she retorted, ‘But Grandma, there is all your love!’ God is love and love is like God. It cannot be defined, measured or weighed. Love is a driving force, above material things. Ingrid was not worried about her grandmother’s pacemaker or failing kidneys. What mattered to her was that her grandmother loved her. Such love is far more precious than all possible physical assets and the gift to be treasured most. I once asked a nun what was her favourite Bible verse. Although in a wheelchair after fifty years of advancing multiple sclerosis, she immediately said, ‘It’s Isaiah 43 verse 4. We are precious in the Lord’s eyes.’ She knew God’s immense love in spite of all her physical incapacity. God does not love us because we are someone special, or because we have done something tremendous, or been specially selfsacrificing. He loves us because we are precious in his eyes. Whatever our physical state, he calls us precious. It is he who gives us value and a reason for living.

Written by Marianne Charlier from Belgium

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