Driving through Tennessee last week, my mom and I stopped at a fruit stand to get some peaches. But before we could get to the peaches, we met the man running the fruit stand. And with this particular man, to meet him was to learn his whole life story.
One part of the story went something like this (please insert southern drawl):
“…I was driving my car and I hit a telephone pole. And when I woke up I didn’t remember nothin’. I didn’t even know my own mama! And then three pretty girls come and stood at the foot of my bed. Apparently, I had been datin’ all three of them. And they was cryin’ and they said to me, “Which one of us do you love?”
“Well, I didn’t know! I said, “I love all y’all!” And they was mad. So I said, “Y’all go on, now. Y’all are gonna need someone to take care of y’all. And I think I’m goin’ to be here a while…”
I’m sure this man’s story represents a lot of grief for many people (including three pretty girls). And I don’t want to make light of that. I’m glad he can tell the story, now, in a way that makes random fruit stand customers laugh.
But his story highlights the fact that indiscriminate love isn’t really love. No woman (at least any that I’ve met!) wants to be loved by a man who says to her and two friends, “I love all y’all.” She wants to be cherished above all others!
Which is what God wants, too. He doesn’t want an ecumenical love. He doesn’t want to be worshiped along with Buddha and Allah. God is jealous toward us. He wants to be cherished above all others. He says,