Over the last year or so, I’ve come to believe that the greatest love is a sacrificial love. When we sacrifice for or serve someone, that act can open us to loving them with a deep and meaningful love. They can end up loving us, too, through that same service and the gratitude they feel around our efforts. Problem is, most of what we have to give in our service isn’t always much of a sacrifice. We prepare a meal for someone who is sick. We watch someone’s children. We visit those who are in the hospital. A few ingredients and a few hours of time is usually all we need to give.
Some sacrifices go deeper. I’ve known women who have become primary caregivers to their aged and infirm parents, and mothers who give countless hours both day and night in service to their children and families.
In past posts, I’ve written about my desire to go to school and the funding problem Larry and I have had in making that goal happen. I’ve talked about my disappointments over being passed by for scholarships. Due to some other unforeseen and financial hardships, even the little we’d saved for tuition was starting to be frittered away. Around June, school was looking like a complete impossibility.
At that point, much of the staff at Larry’s work had vacations scheduled, but there wasn’t enough people to cover these empty shifts. Larry stepped in and began working as many extra shifts as possible. In fact, at this writing, he’s in the middle of a fourteen day stretch. He’s giving hour upon hour and day upon day. He’s risen early in the morning, sometimes as early as 4:30a.m., and he’s heading to the hospital where he’s got to be doing his best work. He’s been doing this day in and day out for months now, and he’s doing this for us, for me.
It’s been hard to let him do this for me, in part because I have found the gifts I have to give back aren’t really all that inspiring. First and foremost, I tell him of my gratitude, and I hope I show my gratitude by making sure his favorite meals are prepared when he comes home and in other small ways that I hope matter to him. The second thing I can give him is to work really hard in school, so that his sacrifice yields the results for which we’re both hoping. Larry has appreciated these efforts.
Christ sacrificed for us, too. He sacrificed all. I think this is another reason why sacrifice begets love. When we truly sacrifice for another, when we give until it hurts, we are tapping into the greatest love on earth. We are tapping into the eternal love of Christ’s sacrifice and His atonement. When that’s shared, the impossible becomes possible through that great gift of love. But in order for that to happen, the sacrifice must be made.
Sometimes the sacrifices we make are unnoticed by those for whom we’re sacrificing. That can sting, and it can make the giving even harder. But take heart. If our efforts aren’t appreciated here, we can consider ourselves in good company. Even the sacrifice made by God has gone unnoticed by many.
Making sure Larry’s sacrifice isn’t for nothing has been a primary concern for me. It’s also made me look again at the sacrifice the Savior made for me. And just as I want to make sure Larry didn’t give these hours and days for nothing, I want to make sure that my Savior didn’t give His Divine life for nothing.