Husband and fellow author Alan McKean and I strolled around the neighborhood. A neighborhood child ran up and asked, “What’s wrong with him?”
“What do you mean?” I asked her.
She pointed at Alan. “What’s wrong with him?” she asked again. “You’re holding his hand.”
How utterly sad that this child has apparently never seen a demonstration of love and thinks people only hold hands when they need help.
Recently, I laughed at a video of a kitten watching its mother wash herself and attempting to imitate her actions. Even animals learn by example.
Children learn more from example than words. Research for my next Christian Cozy Mystery with the Fog Busters—amateur detectives young at heart and a bit older in body—took me to Peter Macnab’s “Tall Tales From an Island,” Mull in Scotland. It introduced me to pirate Alan na Sop who was viciously abused by his stepfather. He ran away from home, turned to piracy, and eventually returned home to be welcomed by his stepfather. When Alan realized his stepfather’s belated expression of affection was deceitful—aimed at cajoling him into killing a childhood friend so the stepfather could take over his friend’s property—Alan killed his stepfather and took over his family’s land. How much of the violence and robbery he committed after leaving home was a direct result of the example his stepfather had set for him?
Jesus said in John 13:15, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” What did Jesus do? He loved us so completely and unconditionally that He died for our sins so we could follow Him to heaven. He told us that we were to love others as He loves us.
Love is always the right example.