Actually, this really IS a continuation of my last post!
Truth is I was just going to add a comment - but the comment grew so I'm posting it separately.
Okay - I've been mulling over examples of powerful, triumphant love that I've seen.
First to come to mind (and I didn't "see" this one - but it has gone down in history!) Is the example of Martin Luther King Jr, and those incredibly brave souls who stood with him and faced violence and hatred - took it on themselves without retaliating, and defeated it with love. Their sacrifice is still reverberating throughout history. I think both he and Ghandi spring immediately to mind whenever there's talk of "nonviolent resistance" - but reflecting on the courage and sacrifice of individuals who stood up for love and freedom - and the incredible power of their actions - fills me with awe and reverence still.
A more prosaic example; When I was growing up, a hyperactive, tearaway wild thing wreaking
merry havoc around the streets of Tahmoor - I was loved unconditionally by a family (particularly the mother - affectionately known as "Mumhouse") up the road. From a young age, I gave people around me headaches with my constant noise and chatter (not much has changed!!). I got into everything; tipped over full paint cans; raided the refrigerator; explored under their house and decided to dig for treasure there at one point, I'm told. They didn't pretend. They really, and inexplicably loved me! Mumhouse taught me how to cook chelsea buns and make butter. Denboy (the dad of the family) told me and the other neighbourhood kids amazing stories, and patiently listened and bantered with us. When I would do outrageously inappropriate things (they once bought a set of arcopal dinnerplates. It said on the TV that you could drop them without breakage - so I immediately grabbed one and threw it on the floor to see - thankfully it really did bounce. I still remember her cry of alarm!) But back to the point - whenever I did something inappropriate or naughty, Mumhouse would look at me with a kind of surprised blink, shake her head and say in her wonderful, musical way "You're a triiick!!"
I'm watching my son, (as well as a couple of my nephews) grow up with the challenges of ADHD. I figure I'm the one who passed that lovely legacy down. Kids like that can be just FULL ON. My poor mother (who also loved me - but had 5 kids to try to feed and keep under some kind of control) tells me even now that she didn't know WHAT to do with me! My own son is a fantastic kid, and growing to be a beautiful young man. He's amazing! - but when he was a toddler... one of my friends confessed to me that she used to cringe inwardly when she saw him coming!! The thing is, it can be VERY hard for kids who have behavioural challenges to be accepted and loved. They tend to grow up feeling like something is essentially inferior about them. They don't measure up. People get frustrated and angry with them. They can't really explain why it is always this way - but they just don't cut it and people don't want them around. It sucks!
The Youngs (my other family) were not churchgoers, although I believe they were people of faith. Mumhouse used to say to me "Gardening brings you closer to God". Their consistent, unconditional acceptance and even enjoyment, of me and my "eccentricities" gave me something immeasurable. They gave me value; when the rest of the world was often giving me the opposite message. Life has had innumerable challenges since those childhood days - there have been some deadly battles along the way. I suspect the seed of love they planted may even have saved my life! Were they walking in Jesus' footsteps?? Oh yes!!