My husband, Justin, held the Nerf gun that had already left an angry red welt on my side, aggravation mode in high gear. That thing is the devil’s Nerf gun. It feels like getting shot close range with a paintball gun.
Justin pointed the Nerf gun at me.
I aimed a death glare in return. “I’m serious. Don’t you dare shoot me again.”
“Don’t Dad.” Five-year-old Caleb yelled. “Just let me have it so I can go play outside.”
“Okay, if I can’t shoot your mom, I’m going to shoot baby Levi!!”
“No!!!!” He jumped between his daddy and Levi.
“Don’t you dare!” I said, even though I knew he wouldn’t.
“Caleb, I’m going to shoot one of them. Who’s it going to be? Levi or Mommy?” Justin waved the Nerf gun between the two of us.
I waited for him to choose me. Caleb adores me, but he would do anything to protect his baby brother. I tensed for the stinging dart while plotting horrible payback plans for the father of my children in the second of silence.
Caleb stepped forward with his chest puffed out, solemn. “Me. Shoot me instead.”
Be still my heart. I wrapped my noble defender in a big hug and planted a kiss on his head. He knew it would hurt. He had seen the welt on my side, and still he was willing to take my place. All the aggravating tension leaked out of the room.
Is there anything that can touch a sacrificial love willing to take a bullet (or a wound inflicting Nerf dart) for you? Wonder why there is something in the human heart that longs for a love that is willing to take a bullet or step in front of a bus to save us?
What if it was because that longing for love had already been fulfilled? Does your heart know it yet?
Isaiah 53:3-6 : He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.