Summary: Love does not give up no matter what is faces, no matter the obstacles in its path, no matter what those around you might be saying, love does not give up it is determined.
I came across an article in the paper this week that had the heading ’Mother’s Love and Determination’. And the sub title ’Refusing to give up, Cynthia Teare helped her son to walk again’. It caught my attention because our theme today is ’Love is... determined’.
And it’s the story of an 11 year old boy called Connor and his mother Cynthia. When Connor was just a toddler his muscles began growing increasingly rigid, and it became harder and harder for him to move. He went from leg braces, to a walker, and finally, by the time he was five years old he was in a wheelchair.
He said, "I tried to walk like the other kids ... but I just couldn’t do it." His mother, Cynthia as all mothers would do, took him to a million different doctors but not one of them could figure out what was wrong. She said, "I was scared, and I was frightened and I was trying not to let him see that I was frightened. But inside... the biggest thing was we didn’t know what it was. Nobody knew what he had.
Some of the doctors, told her that there may never be an answer, but, she said, "I couldn’t settle for that, I refused to accept that". So she spent hour, after hour, day after day, week after week, moth after month, year after year, painfully scouring the internet for answers. And then one day she came across an exceptionally rare disorder that she thought might explain Connor’s condition. And she wrote a letter to Dr Irwin Jacobs who is a prominent pediatric neurologist.
He said that her letter left him stunned. He said, "I mean, here’s somebody suggesting a disorder, and I’ve never seen this disorder". It’s called Dopa Responsive Dystonia and it disrupts how the brain communicates with muscles in the body. Even though Connor did not have some of the classic symptoms of this condition, Dr Jacobs agreed to give him the appropriate medication to see if it would help.
Within days, Connor¡¦s condition started to improve. Slowly, his muscles began moving more easily. He could hold on and walk a few steps, and get in and out of chairs, things he hadn’t been able to do in years.
He said, "I was sitting in the chair in the kitchen one day and ... I feel like I can stand, I start holding onto the furniture and I start walking." His mum said, "By the second day ... he stood at the kitchen sink and washed his hands, standing. That was monumental."
Today, Connor spends his free time on the basketball court shooting hoops, thanks to daily medication and one determined mother. She did for her son what a dozen doctors could not; she found a way to free her child from years in a wheelchair.
"I think she deserves all the credit," Dr Jacobs said. "Had she given up at any time ... had she not been so insistent about trying to find a reason why her son had this difficulty, Connor would still be in a wheelchair."
Over the past few weeks we¡¦ve been looking at various aspects of this thing we call love. We’ve looked at the loving church, we’ve looked at love as a command, love being the greatest, last week we saw that love is forgetful, and today we see that Love is determined. Love does not give up no matter what is faces, no matter the obstacles in its path, no matter what those around you might be saying love does not give up it is determined.
The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:7, says, that love ’always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. And I do like that word ’always’ 99 times out of 100 is very good, but it’s not always. Almost is very good,but it’s not always. Nearly is very good, but it’s not always. Most of the time is very good, but it’s not always.
’Love always protects, it always trusts, it always hopes, it always perseveres’. And this morning I just want to take each one of these ’always’ and look at it in a little more depth.
1. Love always protects.
This word protect comes from a greek word (ste-go) meaning ’to cover’. It is related to the word for roof - a covering that offers protection to the house and all who live within it from all the elements that the weather might throw at it. I Peter 4:8 says that ’love covers a multitude of sins’. That is precisely the meaning here. Love protects other people. It doesn’t broadcast bad news. It goes the second mile to protect another person’s reputation.
Ruth and Boaz
There’s a wonderful story in the Old Testament about a young girl called Ruth. Ruth was not an Israelite by birth,she was a Moabite. But she has married into an Israelite family who had moved to Maob during a severe famine in Israel. But when both her father-in-law and her husband died she decided that she would return with her mother-in-law (Naomi) to Bethlehem. And in order to support her mother-in-law and herself, she goes to the fields to work. The field she goes to belongs to a man named Boaz, who happens to be a close relative of Naomi’s husband. Now that made him, what is known as a kinsman redeemer, and as a kinsman redeemer he had certain responsibilities to the family of his dead relatives. The Kinsman redeemer was a near relative who acted as a protector of the family rights. He could be called upon:-