I read a moving article on the power of love in a delightful devotional of classic Christian writings entitled “Show Me Your Love” (Barbour Publications, 2004).
A friend of American evangelist Charles Finney (1850’s) ran a reform school in his town. He was called away and struggled with how to leave his charges for a short while.
Approaching the town fathers, he pledged that if any of his boys ran away or caused trouble he would forfeit his town lot and property. A meeting was called at the school and the boys were told the extent of his trust, and the cause of his family which was now left to the boys and their honour. He departed.
The appointment in the other community ended earlier than expected. The principal arrived at the school late Saturday evening. One of the boys shouted “It is Father”, and the entire school gathered, clean, orderly, smiling and overwhelmed with the transformation of trust.
This is the kind of response which love and trust will elicit. We see it in the Gospel. God first loved us. We respond in a way which no principal’s switch could ever produce.