Walk in Love
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. – Ephesians 5:2
In the Peanuts comic strip, the character of Pigpen has always amused me. He walks around with a dust cloud
surrounding him, and is a symbol of all those little boys who are not fond of baths and somehow get away with it. Interestingly, the dust cloud may
arrive a frame ahead of the boy, just for fun. That is fine—we know what to expect of Pigpen. When he arrives, he is simply a friend: one with
dirt. Do not expect a lecture on cleanliness.
A scent can also surround as a cloud. We all have family, friends, or acquaintances who have a particular fragrance that we may recognize even before we
see them, or that will linger in the air after they have continued on their way. Of course, perfume brings mixed responses, depending on the thickness
of the fog and the intensity of our own allergic reactions. We each get to choose whether or not we want to wear this variety of cloud.
Now consider being enveloped in God’s love instead of dust or perfume. This is a command rather than a choice. We are to walk in love. Picture yourself
as a cartoonist would, enclosed in a cloud of love. Is our manner, as we pass through life, reminiscent of God’s love? Are our comments kind and our
personal inquiries loving? Or do we pass along with our own jumble of thoughts, unconcerned with another’s load? Obviously, we would never intentionally
leave behind an essence of harshness, but let us be careful not to thoughtlessly disregard anyone.
If opportunities to “walk in love” fall within our capabilities, let us make an effort to help another who is struggling along. We might give a ride to
an elderly man, cook a pot of soup for a busy mom, pull weeds for one with physical difficulties, jot a note of cheer for a sister going through a
valley, or simply ask, “How are you? I’m praying for you.” Each of those actions will be greatly appreciated.
To be sure, these efforts will cost in various combinations of labor, money, and time. Not everything can just occur as we are walking along. However,
if we are inspired by God’s love, there is not only a price, but also a rewarding result. Our lives are enriched by the interaction, and the encircling
cloud of love grows.
The next time you catch the scent of someone’s perfume, ask yourself, “Am I walking in love?”