September 12, 2011


The heavy conversation starts out, as is often the case, on a light note.

Mommy, why aren’t you eating your toast?

It’s the last piece, I answer. I want to see if you are still hungry before I eat it.

My 7-year-old son ponders this for a minute. The crumbs of his toast gather in the folds of his shirt and shorts.

So, he says. I have a question. Do you ever regret doing that? You know, giving me something even when it means you won’t get any?

I stop him; tell him to look into my eyes. Do you see how much I love you? I would give anything for you. It’s because I love you that I don’t regret the sacrifices, big or small.

He waits, a struggle playing out between his mind and mouth. Finally, the mouth wins: So if I was about to die, would you die instead?

Yes. Yes. I would give my life for you. Tears brim my eyes. He looks at me, incredulous. After a few minutes, he shakes his head. You’re kinda crazy. And he returns to his toast, even though we both know his world, our world, just shifted.

I thought of this kind of love throughout Sunday. About the kind of love that propels firefighters up smoky stairs when everyone else is barreling down. The kind of love that compels strangers on an airplane to make an unspoken promise, to sacrifice themselves to save others.

The kind of love that defies all logic, that’s kinda crazy, that leads both God and man to hang on a cross. Without any regrets.