During the teaching time on Sunday, out of the book of Ruth, we uncovered the big concept of hesed. Because there is no English word that completely captures it's meaning, we use Godly attributes such as faithfulness, loyalty, compassion, care, mercy, kindness and love to name a few to describe it.
So many of you have displayed hesed toward spouses, parents, siblings, friends, neighbors and children. It overwhelms me when I see the Christ-like attitudes and actions that you display toward others. Sometimes we "do our duty" and it is challenging. But when we do our hesed, we are blessed in a multitude of ways.
Sunday, I referenced my sister Donna, who becomes more of my hero each day. She retired early (creating a certain amount of peril for her future) to care for our Mother when it became apparent that Dad could longer keep up the pace. For about 18 months with Mom suffering from Lewy Body Dementia, Donna was hesed for both Mom and Dad. When Mom graduated to Heaven, Dad then became the target of my sister's hesed.
She will be there to the end for Dad and we could not ask for a better person to be by his side. Donna has put her life on hold so that she could become hesed for Dad (as she did for Mom) at this point in his life.
Donna is single, never married, no children. There will be a day in the future when my brother Tracy and I, along with our families will need to hesed her. It will be our privilege to do so.
One of the things that we will observe in the Old Testament book of Ruth, is that true hesed is circular. God to us, us to others and around and around.
It is likely that one of the greatest ways to give testimony to the power of Christ in our lives is when we hesed others. Yes, those who don't profess Christ usually care sacrificially for loved ones, but they do it for different reasons. We who are Christ Followers understand hesed in this context, "We love, because He first loved us." - 1John 4:19
In His Hesed,